Posters of the Moulin Rouge: Eight BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramas based on the characters of Toulouse-Lautrec

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
April 2022
6 hours 40 minutes
Toulouse-Lautrec's iconic Parisian poster stars come to life in these full-cast dramas, set in 19th-century Montmartre

1889, Paris. When Charles Zidler's extravagant pleasure palace, the Moulin Rouge, opens in bohemian Montmartre, he commissions local artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec to create a series of posters to promote it. The striking lithographs Henri produces will make his name - and launch the careers of the performers he portrayed.

This sparkling collection of plays introduces us to eight of those legendary artistes, whose lives were as vivid as Lautrec's paint. It opens with Yvette Guilbert, the story of a singer whose dreams of wealth and fame lead her to a brand new cabaret on Boulevard de Clichy.... In The Boneless Wonder, we meet can-can dancer Valentin Renaudin. Merely a silhouette in Toulouse-Lautrec's poster, what is he in real life? La Goulue tells the tale of his famous partner, Louise Weber, whose soubriquet reflects her love of food and life. And in Jane Avril, we hear about Henri's muse, whose nickname 'Crazy Jane' didn't simply refer to her exuberant dancing.

May Belfort explores the Irish singer turned lady of the night, who relied more on her beauty than her voice. In Footitt and Chocolat, a circus double act is in danger of drifting apart; while in Casque d'Or, a group of passionate revolutionaries make a fatal last stand. Finally, Aristide Bruant sees the socialist club owner becoming a fashionable success - against all his intentions. He needs to find a new direction: as does Yvette Guilbert...

Created by award-winning writer John Peacock, these dazzling dramas will transport you to Belle Époque Paris, in all its glamour and decadence. The star casts include Julie Covington as Yvette Guilbert, Frances Barber as La Goulue, Bonnie Langford as May Belfort, Bernard Hill as Aristide Bruant and Miranda Richardson as Marie Briand.

Written by John Peacock
Directed by Jane Morgan
Music by Stephen Warbeck
Technical presentation: David Greenwood, assisted by Anne Bunting and Colin Guthrie

© 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P) 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
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