The Watermill Theatre, Newbury, production of Sunset Boulevard transfers to the West End’s Comedy theatre.
Based on Billy Wilder’s 1950 film of the same name, Sunset Boulevard tells the story of faded silent movie star Norma Desmond, who lives in a house on the famous Los Angeles street of the title. Desperate to be back in the limelight, Norma sees her chance when fate brings a young screenwriter, Joe, to her door. But her relationship with the younger man is destined to end in disaster.
Sunset Boulevard has music by composer and producer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Don Black and award-winning playwright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton.
The show premiered in London at the Adelphi theatre in 1993, with Patti LuPone in the role of Norma. Both the show and its leading lady received nominations at the Laurence Olivier Awards the following year and the musical ran in London for four years, with Elaine Paige, Petula Clark and Rita Moreno all playing Norma. A US production of Sunset Boulevard, starring Glenn Close, opened in Los Angeles in 1993 and went to Broadway the following year.
This new production by the Watermill Theatre follows the venue’s tradition of creating intimate productions using a cast of actor/musicians. It received four nominations for the 2009 Laurence Olivier Awards, in the categories of Best Company Performance, Best Musical Revival, Best Actress in a Musical and Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical.
Sunset Boulevard is directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, who has twice been Laurence Olivier Award-nominated for his work in the West End, for Spend Spend Spend and My One And Only. His recent work includes Flamenco Flamen’ka and Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks, though he is best known for being the ‘nasty’ judge on BBC celebrity dance competition Strictly Come Dancing.