Glenn Close (Norma Desmond), Michael Xavier (Joe Gillis), Siobhan Dillon (Betty Shaefer) and Fred Johanson (Max Von Mayerling) were joined by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Christopher Hampton and Dan Black on stage following the opening night performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard (4th April 2016).
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.
Sunset Boulevard is 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 directs the strictly limited run of 43 performances at ENO’s London Coliseum which runs until 7th May 2016. The full ENO orchestra appear on stage alongside the cast in this semi-staged production. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber with choreography by Stephen Mear, set designs by James Noone, costume designs by Tracy Christensen, Glenn Close’s costumes designs by Anthony Powell, sound by Mick Potter and lighting by Mark Henderson. Musical Director is Michael Reed who also conducts.
Further cast members for the production are Anna Woodside as Hedda Hopper, Emily Bull as Hedy Lamarr, Julian Forsyth as Cecil B DeMille, Mark Goldthorp as Sheldrake, Fenton Gray as Manfred, Haydn Oakley as Artie Green and James Paterson as Jonesy. Further company members include Carly Anderson, Michelle Bishop, Jacob Chapman, Nadeem Crowe, Cornelia Farnsworth, Ria Jones, Katie Kerr, Aaron Lee Lambert, Matthew McKenna, Jo Morris, Tanya Robb, Ashley Robinson, Vicki Lee Taylor, Gary Tushaw, Adam Vaughan and Stuart Winter.
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 is be presented by Michael Linnit and Michael Grade for Gate Ventures PLC with ENO. 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.
Theatre: English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES
Telephone Bookings 020 7492 1602
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