London Reviews

Review: Mulan Rouge at The Vaults, London

11/05/2022
The go-go girls of Mulan Rouge, The Vaults

If you’re looking for an eccentric immersive cabaret show in London this summer, look no further. Mulan Rouge brings our Disney favourite to stage with a burlesque and cabaret twist for a performance like no other.

I love burlesque. I love cabaret. I love cocktails. I love Disney. I love The Vaults in London. So when an opportunity arose to experience all of these things at once, I was intrigued and, of course, jumped at the chance to see exactly how a mix of Moulin Rouge and Disney’s Milan has been brought to the stage.

Spoiler alert: it didn’t disappoint and the two stories work really well together.

The cast of Mulan Rouge

I was kindly invited by Joanne of Love Pop Ups: London, who I often attend events with, for an evening of kings, queens and cabaret at The Vaults recently. In fact, a whopping 52 members of Love Pop Ups London were in attendance, so it was lovely to see familiar and new faces.

I knew little about the show before attending, only that it was cabaret and mixed Mulan and Moulin Rouge. Here’s how it’s described on The Vaults’ website:

Bohemians, you have been invited to the spectacular of the century, the Mulan Rouge! It’s time to leave your gender at the door, adorn your finest armour and pack your glitter purse – or risk bringing dishonour to us all.

This year, the heart of The Vaults has been transformed into the infamous Mulan Rouge, a scandalous haven of dancing and naughty delights.

The Vaults, with ShayShay, have taken the wonderful worlds of Disney’s Mulan and Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge and crashed together a drag-tastic parody – fusing comedy, burlesque and a feast to boot. This is a cabaret of fabulous kings and queens, set to take you on Mulan’s journey of self discovery; and where better to make that discovery than the Mulan Rouge!

The Huns from Mulan Rouge

I knew immediately it was going to be an amazing affair as The Vaults’ are well known to put on quirky immersive experiences.

Once I’d arrived and caught up with some old friends (and made some new ones!), we picked a drink from the eclectic menu that featured cocktails from Whisper (polite, refreshing, strong – just like Mulan), to Madam’s Martini Francais (no introduction needed), grabbed a tasty canapé and took a seat inside the room, ready for the show to start. It was here we met our main character, Mulan, who takes part in a humourous episode of ‘Meet Your Match’ (with audience participation), before she discovers her father has been requested to go to war…and, well, you know the story! We also met fellow commandeers The Huns before we were all whisked off to Paris (well, the room next door).

Keeping in with the theme, this large room with long tables and stages on either side of the room was where the rest of the show took place. They even had a re-creation of the famous Moulin Rouge windmill!

We took our seats – where our delicious starters of mushroom and celeriac pate and seasoned crackers were already served – and settled in for the show, where we met more characters such as the go-go girls of Mulan Rouge.

Read more: Cinderella at The Vaults

Mulan Rouge at The Vaults, London

The show was amazing. Gender-bending, raunchy, glamourous and hilarious are just some words I’d use to describe it without giving too much away. I loved the mix of drag queens and drag kings and the fact that the entire show was LGBTQ friendly – any judgement or reservations were left at the door as everyone came together to laugh, dance, sing, eat great food and creative cocktails.

The three-course menu was really tasty – particularly the main course which was boneless confit chicken, crispy potatoes and charred broccoli. This course was offered banquet-style (with more than enough to go around), which I thought was a nice touch. The way the seating was laid out and the whole feel of the show meant it was near impossible to not make friends (and memories) with those around you.

The cocktail menu was really varied too and I’m proud to say I tried all of them bar one! My favourite was by far the Madam’s Martini Francais, but they were all really delicious – except for The Green Fairy’s One Sipper which was far too strong for me.

The cast were absolutely amazing. They were really funny and had such great chemistry – and amazing outfits. They were all really spot on in reading the room too with jokes that had everyone crying with laughter. By the end of the show, pretty much everyone was up and out of their seats singing and dancing which I thought was lovely – it made the show more than just a show, really.

An immersive game of 'Meet Your Match'

I also loved that the show completely challenged the so-called norms of gender and sexuality in a lighthearted way that also highlighted some of the struggles that come alongside such issues. The entire story was created in such an amazing way.

I would recommend Mulan Rouge to anyone looking for a fun night out in London. Whether you attend with a date or with your best mates, it’s heaps of fun and the dining ticket is definitely worth upgrading for. My only downside of the night was that I didn’t want it to end! After a few too many cocktails, I definitely wanted to stay and dance for long after the show had finished but alas I had work the next day so had to leave.

All in all, it was an event that was heaps of fun and well worth the price tag. I really enjoyed the fact that you can upgrade your ticket to include a delicious dinner and cocktails too (at a cost that isn’t that expensive!) and I would happily return to watch the show again with friends or my boyfriend.

Have you seen Mulan Rouge yet? Let me know your thoughts if so!

*Please note, although I visited this experience free of charge for honest review purposes, all truthful thoughts and unbiased opinions are entirely my own.

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