Baz Luhrmann’s film ‘Moulin Rouge’ is responsible for so many unbearable school musical moments. If you grew up in the early noughties, chances are you and your classmates performed ‘Lady Marmalade’ in feather boas and fishnet tights to an audience of embarrassed parents. After all this time, we need a decent ‘Moulin Rouge’ performance to wipe our memories clean.
A West End production ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’, adapted from Luhrmann’s film and directed by Alex Timbers, has been in the works for years, but for painfully obvious reasons, did not go ahead as planned in March 2021. It was announced today that the musical finally has a premiere date: November 12 2021 at the Piccadilly Theatre. Though it wasn’t planned, it almost lines up with the movie’s twenty-year anniversary (‘Moulin Rouge’ was released in the UK in September in 2001. We know. It makes us feel old too).
The musical has already been on Broadway, and got a four-star review from Time Out’s New York Theatre editor Adam Feldman in 2019, who called it, ‘the jukebox musical to end all jukebox musicals’. It’s absolutely stacked with tunes from the film (remember ‘Come What May’?) as well as more recent hits. According to Feldman, pop hits from Britney, Pink and Adele are spliced and diced together to ‘keep the audience in an ongoing game of “Name That Tune”.’ He also confirms that there is, unsurprisingly, ‘a generous slathering of “Lady Marmalade”.’
The musical’s composer Justin Levine said that, ‘At its heart, “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” is about a group of artists fighting to keep their stage show alive. That element of the story has felt very real for us as a company, as we’ve contended with the Covid shutdown and delay to our UK premiere. But now we are so excited and so honoured to finally confirm that our show will form part of a revitalised West End. We cannot wait for the red windmill to start turning in London!’
Tickets for ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ go on sale on May 24. Find out more here.
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