5 reasons why you should see Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Updated on 27 April 2023

The bohemian and decadent world of Parisian cabaret comes to life in Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Based on the hit 2001 film of the same name, the spectacular production has taken the world by storm since its 2018 premiere.

There are many reasons to see Moulin Rouge!; its vibrancy, show-stopping performances, and heart-rending romance are just a few. However, here are the top 5 reasons why you should take a trip down to the world's most iconic club!

There’s banger after banger 

Moulin Rouge! fits more than 70 songs in the show and they all feel essential. The non-stop party presents pop history at its finest, with an epic selection of mash-ups, covers, and original arrangements. From Madonna to David Bowie and Tina Turner - every legend fits the bill.

Many of the film’s beloved tracks - such as “Elephant Love Medley” and “El Tango de Roxane” remain intact, but there are new songs throughout: ‘Bad Romance’ ‘Single Ladies’ and Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’ are just a few. The updated score captures the breathless vibe of Luhrmann’s film whilst perfectly translating the bohemian style to the stage.

It’s a love story for the ages 

The love story of Moulin Rouge! has been told countless times, but never quite like this. Imagine Romeo meets Juliet, only they exist in a place of fantasies, where men pay high prices to satisfy their lust. 

We begin with a poet in search of himself as he ventures to Paris, it is there that he meets the bewitching Satine, the sparkling diamond of The Moulin Rouge. Satine has the desire to fulfil her dream of becoming a big-time actress, even if it means charming a wealthy benefactor, the Duke, into believing she’s in love with him. 

Christian crosses her path and despite multiple warnings never to succumb to love, Satine surrenders her heart to him. This renders her incapable of deceiving the Duke, thus exposing the greatest irony of all: she cannot act like she's in love because, as Moulin Rouge! so potently shows, love is a force so strong that it transcends our control over who we fall for. At the core of Moulin Rouge! lies something that we all desire - authentic love and acceptance.

You feel like you’re a part of the show

The Piccadilly Theatre has become the iconic Moulin Rouge nightclub. From the bold red letters and working windmills on the front of the theatre, to the pianist playing show tunes in the dress circle bar, the atmosphere is electric. Stepping into the auditorium you're immediately transported to Montmartre, with padded velvet walls and deep red drapes covering the original theatre decor. 

It may not be classed as an immersive show, but that’s how it feels. With the set spilling out beyond the stage, with a tall red windmill spinning to your left and a large, partial elephant statue to your right, representing the dressing room where Christian and Satine confess their love during the "Elephant Love Medley", the decor gives off the lively feel of a bustling nightclub and places you right in the action!

The costumes - oh the costumes!

The show is a feast for the senses. The lavishness of the sets is perfectly matched by Catherine Zuber's dazzling costumes, which are equally vibrant, provocative, and opulent making Moulin Rouge! a masterclass in maximalist production and design.

The costumes are known for their elaborate and colourful designs, which reflect the flamboyant style of the Moulin Rouge cabaret in 19th-century Paris. They feature a mix of styles and textures, ranging from sequins and feathers to silk and lace. Many of the costumes are inspired by historical fashion trends, such as the bustles and corsets of the Victorian era. Some of the most iconic costumes in the show include Satine's diamond-encrusted dress.

It’s just as good as the film, but different 

Moulin Rouge! is based on the 2001 movie directed by Baz Luhrmann which became an instant hit. Critics and audiences loved everything from the leading performances to the arrangement of pop songs and fantastical sets that provided an escape into a welcoming, bohemian world.

The movie was nominated for Best Picture, plus seven other awards, at the 2002 Oscars, and won Best Production Design and Best Costume Design. Even without a Best Picture win, Moulin Rouge! remained beloved and has been named one of the greatest movies of the 21st century. The musical stays faithful to the grandeur and style of the movie, so you'll love it if you love the film.

Events you remember from the film may not happen in exactly the same order, and some set pieces have been changed. One way the stage show has improved is how the Duke is written to be much more of a threatening character and less of a laughing stock than he was in the film. Although many new songs have been included, not all of the songs featured in the film have made it into the musical. Also, the beloved Satine comes off as a much more empowered figure on stage, as sex work is no longer promoted as something that is demeaning. Overall, the stage adaptation offers all the classic elements of the film whilst building upon them innovatively. 

Moulin Rouge! tickets are available now!

We can be heroes, even if it’s just for one day, with the magic and glamour of Moulin Rouge!

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By Kevin Thomas

From as early as I can recall, writing has always been my passion. Being able to combine this with my love for theatre has been a rewarding and exhilarating experience. I truly believe that there is magic in seeing a story brought to life on stage, and this is what I would like to promote to audiences.