Sunset Boulevard recreated in West End

Reporter: Caroline Bishop, first published Tue 18 Nov 2008 11:04
Andrew Lloyd Webber/servlet/file/store5/item92440/version4/fileservice770/92440_770_preview.jpg

The Watermill Theatre production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard transfers to the West End in time for Christmas, opening at the Comedy theatre on 15 December, after previews from 4 December.

Based on Billy Wilder’s 1950 film of the same name, Sunset Boulevard centres on faded movie star Norma Desmond, who lives in a house on the famous Los Angeles street of the title. When fate brings young screenwriter Joe to her door, Norma sees her chance to make a comeback to the big screen.

With music by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, the original production opened at the Adelphi theatre in 1993 with Patti LuPone in the role of Norma. The show was revised after a year and continued to run until 1997. Both the show and its leading lady were nominated for Laurence Olivier Awards in 1994.

This production, which originated at Newbury’s Watermill Theatre, stars Kathryn Evans as Norma, Dave Willetts as her ex-husband Max Von Meyerling and Ben Goddard as Joe. Also in the cast are Elisa Boyd, Tomm Coles, Alexander Evans, Kate Feldschreiber, Sam Kenyon, Nick Lashbrook, Tarek Merchant, Laura Pitt-Pulford and Helen Power.

They are directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, whose credits include the recent Flamenco Flamen’ka and Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks, as well as Spend Spend Spend and My One And Only, both of which earned him Laurence Olivier Award nominations. He is best known as a judge on the BBC’s Saturday night dance show Strictly Come Dancing.

This production of Sunset Boulevard will be staged in the Watermill tradition of using multi-talented actors/musicians to create an intimate production in the vein of previous shows Mack And Mabel and Sweeney Todd, both of which transferred from Newbury to the West End.  

Sunset Boulevard opens at the Comedy following Fat Pig, which closes on 29 November.

CB