Sunset Boulevard, based on the 50’s film of the same name, is enjoying a revival. Made at Curve who are renowned for their exceptional ability to produce, have been trusted to bring this classic Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical to life. It’s his signature style – a stunning score with intense scenes of passion and obsession – and Director Nikolai Foster has brought all the emotion to life quite beautifully.
The musical follows Joe Gillis, a struggling writer in Hollywood as he enters the world of Norma Desmond, quite by chance. She’s a Hollywood great, well, until silent movies were quickly dumped. She still believes she’s the greatest star of all, with the support of her butler Max, who supports her for fear of losing her.
From her first introduction, it is clear that Norma is struggling mentally. Early scenes are almost comical as she is clearly on her own planet but this gives way to a far darker side to her personality which will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
It’s an engrossing and thoroughly gripping storyline, delivered exceptionally well by the cast.
Ria Jones stars as Norma Desmond in a role she was quite clearly born to play. She is every inch the Hollywood star in her show stealing role and delivers spine tingling moments throughout, not least her huge notes in “The Greatest Star Of All”.
Danny Mac is a cool, confident Joe. Oozing style and sophistication – his character carries the entire story and he achieves this in his very classy performance.
There are several stand-outs in a notably high quality cast. Molly Lynch’s for example and her beautiful portrayal of Betty. Her enthusiastic and optimistic character falls for Joe and you really root for them both.
Adam Pearch also impresses as Max Von Meyerling. He is eerie and cold and his character provides some stunning twists – all which he delivers perfectly.
The show is notably extravagant in it’s setting and design, with a simple yet very effective set. The intelligent use of a large staircase is sublime theatre-craft as it becomes many locations through swift scene changes.
This show is a stunning composition and a powerful, believable story. It’s one to watch for certain. It’s in the same league as Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar – and is overdue this stunning revival.
Sunset Boulevard tours until April 2018 – to buy tickets and for full tour details click here.