Sun Sets as Boulevard Posts May Closing NoticesDate: 20 May 2009
The Watermill Theatre’s actor-musician revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard has posted closing notices at the Comedy Theatre.
After its initial run last summer at the Watermill in Newbury, Berkshire, the production opened in the West End on 15 December 2008 (previews from 5 December), and had recently extended through to 19 September (See Review Round-up, 13 Dec 2008). It will now close on 30 May 2009 after a run of nearly six months.
Plans are under way to launch a UK tour in early 2010, followed by a separate Broadway production – as happened with the Watermill’s actor-musician revival of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which went on to win two Tony Awards in 2006 (See News, 12 Jun 2006).
Based on Billy Wilder's 1950 Oscar-winning film of the same name, Sunset Boulevard depicts the faded glamour of the former Hollywood icon Norma Desmond, who’s now living in isolation, with only memories for company. When struggling young screenwriter Joe Gillis appears at her crumbling mansion, she demands a second chance in the limelight.
Kathryn Evans and Ben Goddard play Norma and Joe, with Dave Willetts as the actress’ devoted servant, Max von Meyerling. The production, which was nominated for several Whatsonstage.com and Laurence Olivier Awards earlier this year, is directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, with musical arrangements by Sarah Travis.
Lloyd Webber’s musical was last seen in the West End, in a much bigger production, at the Adelphi Theatre, where it premiered in July 1993, with Patti LuPone starring as Norma Desmond, closed in March 1994 for rewrites and reopened five weeks later in a revised version that ran for another three years.
No further productions have yet been announced for the Comedy Theatre.
- by Terri Paddock