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Mounthoolin Rouge | Review

By Grace Taylor

Rating: 5/5

Photo by Hannah Cook

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the closing night performance of this year’s Student Show, Mounthoolin Rouge!

A delightful parody of Moulin Rouge, the story revolves around the fight to rescue a nightclub on Mounthooly Roundabout from closure. The love-struck Gregor McEwan (Sam Allan) takes the lead, devising a plan to save the club while simultaneously vying for the affection of Fiteen (Megan Cruickshank).

Despite being a pillar of the Aberdeen theatre scene, this was my first Student Show. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about what an amateur production could deliver, especially with the four-week turnaround in rehearsals. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise.

Mounthoolin Rouge! was a joyous display of young talent, which left me with a smile on my face.

Famous tunes were replaced with versions that intertwined with the local storyline, taking us to familiar locations like in the number ‘Shopping on George Street’. The clever use of local references, such as the inclusion of Aberdeen landmarks like Thain's Bakery or the Aberdeen Art Gallery, not only added an extra layer of enjoyment for the audience but created a sense of familiarity for the local community. The vibrant set design helped to bring to life the Mounhoolin Rouge club on stage. 

Despite Elon Monymusk (Andrew Stuart) being presented as the bad guy trying to buy the club for his elaborate plans, the true villain of the show was none other than the Aberdeen City Council. The show was jampacked with jibes at the council, each one hitting the mark and eliciting laughter from the audience, confirming everyone’s shared annoyance over the Granite City’s problems. The most entertaining scene had to be ‘The Cooncil Arrives!’, in which a councilwoman comes to tell the club it’s taking back the Christmas Market decorations. A fabulous ensemble number ‘Fighting Through Song and Dance’, to the backing track of ‘Bad Romance’ by Lady Gaga, without a step out of place. A brilliant and well-thought out script, sprinkled with Doric to provide a hilarious and entertaining narrative. 

A special recognition of my favourite performances. Logan Mckerron as Harold Seaguller, who embodied the character with vibrance and charisma, and Grace McKinley as I.D. Minn, who’s comedic timing had the audience in stitches.

Photo by Hannah Cook

Though I won’t be a resident for much longer, this love letter to the Granite City made me proud to call Aberdeen my home for the last four years. The finale number, Aiberdeen, with lyrics ‘Aiberdeen How I Love You, You are My Heart My Hame’, evoked a sense of pride and appreciation for the city, for both myself and the other audience members. For me, this show was bittersweet.

The show’s portrayal of Aberdeen’s unique charm and its ability to unite the audience in a shared love for the city was truly moving.

As I look back fondly on my time in Aberdeen, I realise that it will always hold a place in my heart despite its flaws. 

A huge congratulations to the production team, cast, and crew who put on a tremendously successful run at His Majesty’s Theatre and raised lots of money for their chosen charities. 


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