facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
# I MISS THEATRE
Are you missing theatre as much as we are? Support us now with Theatre Tokens and see your favourite shows when they reopen.
Siobhan Dillon, who stars in Sunset Boulevard

Siobhan Dillon, who stars in Sunset Boulevard

Exclusive: Sunset Boulevard rehearsal diary

Published 8 March 2016

We’re used to shocking confessions, inspiring speeches, moments of self-doubt and pleasing revelations, but normally they come neatly scripted on stage rather than in week one of rehearsals.

Yet Siobhan Dillon’s first week of rehearsals for Sunset Boulevard, the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s acclaimed musical that sees Glenn Close making her West End debut next month, seems to have been packed with more intrigue than the show’s infamous story.

New to that story? It follows former screen star Norma Desmond as the unheralded arrival of impoverished writer Joe Gillis seems to offer her a chance to reclaim her lost glory, but ultimately leads to tragedy.

So, maybe that week of rehearsals didn’t have quite that level of drama, but it came close:

 

Week one of rehearsals for the beauty of the musical that is Sunset Boulevard…

I had heard the odd singer belting out songs from this show but I have to admit I had never seen it, or even the movie for that matter. 

It was a rainy, miserable Monday but the Sunset Boulevard meet and greet was wonderful. The highlight for me was when our wonderful director Lonny Price introduced us to every person within the creative team, expressing his gratitude and love for all and for the craft. He gave one of the most inspiring and heartfelt speeches I think I’ve ever heard. 

Lonny spoke to us all about his experiences with former leading ladies who had similar character traits to that of our lead character Norma Desmond, who is ultimately a tragic victim of the Hollywood machine. It was fascinating and insightful and for every person in that room, a real moment of unity and excitement about the journey ahead.

By midweek, music learning was well underway and our wonderful choreographer Stephen Mear took the whole company through the opening number Let’s Have Lunch, which is… let’s just say it’s complex and incredibly impressive. 

When I accidentally stumbled into the wrong rehearsal room – I do that regularly! – it turned out to be quite fortuitous as the ensemble had just finished putting the two aspects together; their MASSIVE vocals, in what seemed like seven-part harmonies, along with choreography. Colourful characters were emerging effortlessly along with a movie set trailer-load full of Paramount pizzazz.

There wasn’t a script or score in sight. 

I was in awe.

“These guys are amazing” I thought as I scurried out of the rehearsal room door in search of my self-confidence!

 

Let’s hope she finds it soon. Find out in Dillon’s next rehearsal diary, coming soon.

Sunset Boulevard plays at the London Coliseum from 1 April to 7 May. You can book tickets through the theatre’s website.

 

Share

Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.