Glenn Close will star as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, the second production in the partnership between English National Opera (ENO) and the GradeLinnit Company. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, Sunset Boulevard is produced by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd and is based on the original Paramount film by Billy Wilder.
Lonny Price will direct the strictly limited run of 43 performances at ENO’s London Coliseum which begins on 1st April 2016 with press night on 4th April 2016 at 7.30pm and the final performance on 7th May 2016. The full ENO orchestra will appear on stage alongside the cast in this semi-staged production. Further casting is to be announced.
Glenn Close, making her West End debut as well as her first reprisal of the role for UK audiences, plays faded silent movie star Norma Desmond, for which she has previously won a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and a Dramalogue Award for the Broadway production directed by Trevor Nunn.
In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded, silent-screen goddess, Norma Desmond, lives in a fantasy world. Impoverished screen writer, Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive world. Persuaded to work on Norma’s ‘masterpiece’, a film script that she believes will put her back in front of the cameras, he is seduced by her and her luxurious life-style. Joe becomes entrapped in a claustrophobic world until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free with dramatic consequences.
Based on Billy Wilder’s classic film, Sunset Boulevard originally premiered in London at the Adelphi Theatre in 1993, where it ran for almost four years and played to nearly two million people. It went on to open on Broadway in 1994 to what was then, the biggest advance in Broadway history, $37.5million.
Sunset Boulevard will be presented by ENO with Michael Linnit and Michael Grade for Gate Ventures with Johnny Hon as Executive Producer.
In March 2015 ENO and the GradeLinnit Company presented the critically acclaimed sell-out run of Sweeney Todd with Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel in the inaugural production of their partnership.
English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES
Dates: 1st April – 7th May 2016
Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Tuesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm