Opened 15 Dec 2008
Written: Music by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Book & lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, based on the Billy Wilder film, musical arrangements by Sarah Travis.
Directed: Craig Revel Horwood
Choreography: Craig Revel Horwood
Cast: Katherine Evans (Norma Desmond), Ben Goddard (Joe Gillis), Laura Pitt-Pulford ( Betty Schaefer), Dave Willetts (Max von Meyerling),
Synopsis: In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded, silent-screen goddess, Norma Desmond, lives in a fantasy world. Impoverished screen writer, Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive world. Persuaded to work on Norma’s ‘masterpiece’, a film script that she believes will put her back in front of the cameras, he is seduced by her and her luxurious lifestyle. Joe becomes entrapped in a claustrophobic world until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free with dramatic consequences.
What the popular press had to say.....
NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Small is better and sometimes beautiful when it comes to this scaled-down, intimate version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1993 musical melodrama." MICHAEL COVENEY for THE INDEPENDENT says, "...a score that is as dynamic and complex as any that Lloyd Webber has written." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Intelligently pared-down production...the main discovery is that inside Lloyd Webber's big belter of a musical, there is a smaller, more dramatic show that has been waiting for years to be let out." DOMINIC MAXWELL for THE TIMES says, "Revel Horwood’s production is persuasive. As this jaw-droppingly skilful cast jump between instruments, Lloyd Webber’s score is always interesting, sometimes catchy." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Knockout revival...blessed with both sharp wit and a superb ensemble...[Craig Revel] Horwood's choreography is neat and witty, but it is the sheer panache of the whole ensemble that makes this revival so special, plus the sense that justice has finally been done to a great and undervalued musical."
Production photos by Alastair Muir