Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

An Experience: Moulin Rouge! The Musical

An Experience: Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Back at it again with another musical review! So far, I have watched at least four musicals, Moulin Rouge being the fourth one. I had the opportunity to watch this during my three-week break before the second term starts. For those who are considering seeing Moulin Rouge! The Musical, it is located at Piccadilly Theatre!

However, before we start delving into this magical experience, here’s a quick summary rundown. Moulin Rouge! The Musical is based on Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 movie under the same name. The story follows a man named Christian, who moved to Paris to join the Bohemian revolution. He visits the city’s biggest nightclub, Moulin Rouge, and falls in love with a performer called Satine. 


I’d heard of Moulin Rouge, but I couldn’t precisely say as to which point in my life I’d heard of it from. What I realised though is that Moulin Rouge is such a big part of pop culture, that no matter what age you are, you have or will hear of it one way or another. The earliest memories I have of it were when I was around thirteen (or probably younger) and I’d seen the movie stills all around Tumblr, I remember being in awe of Satine’s (aka Nicole Kidman) beauty. I used to do musical plays when I was younger as well, and it’s probably around those times when I picked up the title Moulin Rouge while we were trying to pick which musicals we were going to perform. 

At around fifteen years old, I was able to watch the film adaptation and I was obsessed with it. The music, the costumes and everything! (I mean, have you seen any Baz Luhrmann movies? They’re all magical!!) It wasn’t until recently when I discovered that there was a musical version of it. My family and I were just walking along Piccadilly one day, and as we passed by the theatre, it was plastered across the building: Moulin Rouge. It was a faint red as the lights were switched off, and the area was grey and empty. Doors were closed. I was a little bit disappointed as it didn’t say anywhere as to when they were going to open again, but I was also excited since there was another musical I could look forward to watching. 

Fast forward to the three-week break, I had completely forgotten about Moulin Rouge being a musical. Since I have watched the most classic musicals of all time – Phantom and Les Mis – I was really looking forward to Prince of Egypt. It was one of my favourite movies when I was a child, and believe it or not, we also performed it as a musical! So when my dad asked me what musical I wanted to watch this time, I immediately said “Prince of Egypt.” With no hesitation… It wasn’t certain yet, and we wanted to wait for my mum’s confirmation. (She was in London as well, but she was with her friends.) 

As we were walking around Piccadilly, waiting for my mum’s response, we passed by the Piccadilly Theatre, and lo and behold, I almost lost my marbles. By a snap of a finger, my choice instantly changed. “No, actually…” I remember saying, as I was pointing towards the big neon red sign, “I want to watch Moulin Rouge.” My dad was convinced, as we didn’t know what else to do other than wait for my mum. Therefore, my dad inquired for the ticket prices and availability. And bam… It was set! We were going to watch Moulin Rouge! The Musical at 7:30pm. 


I don’t even know how to put it into words, but all I can say is… it was spectacular! And definitely not what I was expecting. (But in a good way!) 

I went into watching Moulin Rouge blindly, expecting it to be just like the movie. What I didn’t realise is that this is a jukebox musical, meaning it’s a stage musical in which the majority of the songs are well-known popular music songs, rather than original music. Although they still sang some songs that were in the movie, most of them were pop songs from the 2010s. 

And I did not complain. 

I thought my parents weren’t going to like it due to how different the songs were from the movie, but surprisingly, they were hooked on it too. Luckily, my dad got us tickets that didn’t have seats. So, the majority of the time, we were standing at the very back, towering over the stage. To be fair, standing at Moulin Rouge! The Musical is better as we got to do our little boogie dance in the dark while they belted out a Britney Spears song. 

Apart from the songs, I thoroughly enjoyed the musical due to how diverse the cast were. A lot of them were people of colour and not only that, but they were also very inclusive with different body sizes and types as well. It was good and refreshing to see someone so pretty and performing effortlessly on stage who had the same body type as I do. 

Overall, I would highly recommend watching Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Rating: 10000/10 ⭐️

(PS. I also wrote a similar article about The Phantom of the Opera, which you can read here.)

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