On Saturday the 11th March 2017, my friend Alisha and I made our way by train and tube to Canning Town station, attracting a few odd looks.
This wasn’t just a normal Saturday night in good old London Town. Yes we were out for the night, but we were dressed up in what looked like completely random individual fancy dress. I think the first thing people noticed was my brown top hat, sitting proudly on the top of my head.
I was dressed up as a French music composer, following the instructions given to me by the Society of Love after registering and buying tickets for the Moulin Rouge Secret Cinema.
Moulin Rouge has always always always been one of my favourite films. The first time I saw it, I just fell madly in love with it. It’s just so bold and striking! All the songs are amazing and I love the mix of all the pop songs in ‘Elephant Love Medley’! And of course, I can’t forget the absolutely beautiful ‘Come What May’! What a romantic song! I also just adore Ewan McGregor in this film! 😍 What a voice! 😍
When Alisha sent me the link back in December, I instantly wanted to go and jumped at the chance. Secret Cinema website
There were three options: Children of the Underworld aka the prostitutes, dancers, actors, models etc – basically the misfits of society, the Children of the Revolution aka the writers, musicians, painters etc – those who believe in truth, freedom, beauty and above all things love ❤️ and final the Aristocrats aka the elegant folk.
We decided to go for the Children of Revolution as of course we believe in truth, freedom, beauty and above all things love ❤️ (the tagline of the film!). Plus with the children of the revolution or the aristocrats, you were guaranteed a seat when watching the film!
At the end of January, we had to register with the Society of Love and we then received our character. I soon discovered that I was a French musician composer going by the name of Hélène-Frédérique de Faye-Jozin. I actually knew this was one of the longest names a character could have, but I was determined to pronounce it correctly! Wiki page about my character
The information told me that my character composed pieces of music performed in the salon and that she loved the feeling of new love, including with the fairer sex. Despite all this, my character wondered if she would truly be happy!
Once we had our occupation and character description, it was time for costumes. Auchicparisien was a website suggested to you with all your costumes needs. I ordered quite a few things from the website and let me tell you, I was so impressed with the quality and the quickness of delivery! They ask for your event date as well to ensure that you get everything on time! A*s all around for this website!
As my character was a French music composer, I had to wear a blouse, long green skirt, stockings with bows on it, a hat of some sort (top hat/pork pie hat), brown scarf and I needed some green ribbon to represent that I was a musician. Each occupation had a prop to represent their group so you could look for others throughout the night.
Here is a picture of my friend and I dressed up as a French music composer and inventor, about to enter Monmarte. Don’t we look like we’d fit perfectly into the Bohemian world!? 😎
Obviously a costume is not compulsory, but everyone I saw there was dressed up. Everyone looked amazing in their costumes and practically everyone there had really gone out for their secret cinema experience. It definitely makes it more fun and you find yourselves getting more and involved.
As the secret cinema experience is a secret (the name gives it away), once you have entered the secret location (I actually could not work out where exactly it is for the life of me) and you are told to put your phone away in a sealed bag. They don’t want the secret to get out and the interior, the different rooms and the location to be given away.
Most people complied and I didn’t see a single phone out that night. Everyone was in the room, enjoying themselves, rather than browsing Facebook or taking selfies. Alisha and I did see a picture of a girl we used to go to school with where she had clearly broken the rules and taken a picture inside the room. It was a clear case of wanting to show off what she was doing and needing the likes!
The experience was absolutely incredible. There are live actors there acting out the songs, getting the crowd to join and enjoy themselves. I myself got pulled in for a dance by an actor dressed as a jester, who proceeded to swing me around and make me grope his chest. I could barely stop laughing, which made him continue to throw me around even more.
All the actors look like the characters from the film and make you feel as if you are part of the movie experience yourself. As if you are truly your character in the Moulin Rouge.
After some dancing and some drinks (very strong ones, I might add, especially since absinthe is a key ingredient in a lot of the cocktails!), we moved into a room to dance and sing along, led by Zidder himself!
We were eventually told it was time to take our places. The Children of the Revolution headed upstairs and were seated along the seats. The Children of the underworld had optional seats at the back, but they were standing near the stage.
The film started and we were encouraged to quote, sing, dance, stand up and basically just enjoy ourselves! Obviously you still need to be respectful of others and let them have an enjoyable experience! Some of the Children of the Underworld wouldn’t be quiet for ages, until a girl just snapped and yelled out, “Shut up!”, causing people to applause and a guy to yell back in response, “I fucking love you!”
One thing that I truly loved was that while the film was on screen, the actors would appear on the stage during songs and perform exactly what was happening on screen! It was fantastic as the actors were just outstanding! It was like you were wearing a live stage show of Moulin Rouge, along with the film!
If anyone has any thoughts about doing any of the Secret Cinema experiences, do them! I definitely will do it again, especially if it’s another one of my favourite films. I know that they have already done the Empire Strikes Back, Back to the Future and a few others. Secret Cinema Website again for you