The hit Broadway musical will begin previews at the Piccadilly Theatre from the 12th November. Emma Clarendon discusses why she is looking forward to seeing this musical arrive in London.
The second that the film Moulin Rouge came out in cinemas twenty years ago, it was immediately clear that it was always meant to be transformed into a stage production. The music, the theatricality of the story and of course the costumes made it spectacular to watch on the screen – but how much better would it be to experience Christian and Satine’s story unfolding in front of us live? Here’s a few reasons why I’m looking forward to seeing this musical for myself….
The Music: so while a few of the songs featured in the film such as ‘Lady Marmalade’, ‘Your Song’ and the beautiful ‘Come What May’ all still exist in the stage musical – many more and different pop songs also feature in the musical. It is filled with instantly recognisable songs from a wide range of decades and songwriters all blended well together to give the musical a contemporary edge – I can’t wait to see the choreography that will be matched alongside it!
The costumes: of course being set right in the heart of the Moulin Rouge, the costumes are as sexy as they are vibrant – based on some of the images that I have spotted through Google – they look suitably sumptuous and reflect the era in which the story is based on perfectly. Costume Designer Catherine Zuber is well known for her attention to detail – particularly on shows such as The King and I – which means that it is certain the costumes are in safe hands.
The set design: again, the tantalising glimpses that I have seen of the set based on the Broadway production, the set design by Derek McLane looks absolutely stunning to the point that it almost feels as the show becomes an immersive experience that wraps itself around the audience. The attention to detail and reincorporating some of the elements that fans of the film will recognise in a new way is certainly a big thrill.
The story: of course who can resist a love story? This musical offers a really powerful one between Satine and Christian about how love can overcome many obstacles – apart from one. The way in which they battle through many different problems in the course of their developing relationship is moving and to be thwarted at the end is absolutely heartbreaking. While it is most prominently known for bearing similarities to Puccini’s La bohème, it also has surprising roots in the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice.
It being a celebration of the arts: underneath the romance and music, it feels as though the story and film are a celebration of the world of the arts – and from the bits and pieces that I have heard and read, it looks as though this is set to continue through the stage production too. Everything comes together to remind us all of the power of words, music and theatre – which given everything that we have been through means it is a show that we need more than ever right now.
By Emma Clarendon