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Moulin Rouge seduces The Royal Festival Hall

Baz Luhrmann’s classic enchants London’s Festival of Love season.

Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge was screened last night at the iconic Royal Festival Hall as part of The Southbank Centre’s Festival of Love season.

This was a simply stunning affair and made for one of the highlights of the summer film season. Quite some feat, especially when you consider the competition this season.

Ticket holders were encouraged to join fully-qualified ballroom teacher Rafal Pilot and his partner Fiona Millikin-Walker at The Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall before the screening took place. They were giving a Tango taster session inspired by the ‘Roxanne’ sequence in Moulin Rouge. It was open to all levels, including beginners and was free. It proved very popular!

Once we entered the world-famous venue, it was amazing to see so many people turn out for the screening. Some even dressed up to get into the spirit of the event and the film itself. The venue was a great way to experience the milestone musical in unique surroundings. It boasts a very impressive screen with crystal clear projection and provided a very memorable experience. Hopefully The Royal Festival Hall will screen more films in the future because they do a great job.

As for the film itself? Well Baz Luhrmann’s epic really does delight from start to finish and is without doubt, one one the most breathtaking spectacles you’ll ever see on film. From its bewitching visual style all the way down to its mesmerising soundtrack, Moulin Rouge is simply a 5 star classic for the ages. On the eve of celebrating its 13th birthday (where has the time gone?!) Moulin Rouge remains one of the greatest movies of all time.

The hallowed Royal Festival Hall is currently hosting the aptly named Love at the Pictures, which features classics from cinema past and present. Forming the centrepiece of this series are screenings of David Lean’s iconic 1945 film Brief Encounter with live orchestral accompaniment performed by Southbank Centre’s Resident Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra (22 and 29 August).

Southbank Centre’s newly commissioned live orchestral accompaniment will feature pianist Leon McCawley and conductor David Charles Abell. Lucy Fleming, the daughter of film legend and leading lady in Brief Encounter, Celia Johnson, will give an introduction to the film live from the stage and the event will also include a complete performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 – the work used as the backbone to Brief Encounter’s iconic soundtrack – before each screening.

Audience members are encouraged to dress up as a favourite character from the films and each week-day screening will feature free, themed events in the foyers including opportunities to dance, sing and even make your own cocktails.

Love at the Pictures remaining slate – August 2014.

Thursday 21 August 2014, 7.30pm, Royal Festival Hall
Devdas film screening
All tickets £10

Friday 22 August 2014, 7.30pm, Royal Festival Hall
David Lean’s Brief Encounter
Film screening with live orchestral accompaniment
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Leon McCawley (piano)
David Charles Abell (conductor)
By arrangement with ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Park Circus Films.
Tickets £45, £30, £20

Saturday 23 August 2014, 7.30pm, Royal Festival Hall
Singalonga Dirty Dancing film screening with audience participation
All tickets £16

Wednesday 27 August 2014, 7.30pm, Royal Festival Hall
The Graduate film screening
All tickets £10

Thursday 28 August 2014, 7.30pm, Royal Festival Hall
South Pacific film screening
All tickets £10

Friday 29 August 2014, 7.30pm, Royal Festival Hall
David Lean’s Brief Encounter
Film screening with live orchestral accompaniment
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Leon McCawley (piano)
David Charles Abell (conductor)
By arrangement with ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Park Circus Films.
Tickets £45, £30, £20

Southbank Centre’s Festival of Love 2014 is dedicated to the theme of love. Hundreds of artists, communities and partners will participate in creating a festival that will explore the many different facets of human love – from romantic love and the breakdown of relationships, to the harmony (or disharmony) between nations and the concept of memorials.

The festival has been running since 28th June and ends on 31st August. Featuring a wide-ranging programme of themed weekends, performances, talks, outdoor art installations and urban greenery across the site, one of the highlights, in celebration of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act becoming law in England and Wales this March, will be the mass wedding event for opposite sex and same-sex couples on the finale festival weekend.

Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection.

For tickets and further information, check out their website www.southbankcentre.co.uk

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