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Further casting has been revealed for the ENO and the GradeLinnit Company's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard which will run in a semi-staged production at London's Coliseum from 1 April to 6 May 2016, with an official opening on 4 April 2016.
Joining the previously announced Glenn Close who will reprise her Tony-winning performance of 'Norma Desmond', will be Michael Xavier as 'Joe Gillis', Siobhan Dillon as Betty Schaefer' and Fred Johanson as 'Max von Mayerling'.
They will be joined by Julian Forsyth (Cecil B DeMille), Mark Goldthorp (Sheldrake), Fenton Gray (Manfred), Haydn Oakley (Artie Green), James Paterson (Jonesy), Carly Anderson, Jacob Chapman, Ria Jones, Katie Kerr, Aaron Lee Lambert, Vicki Lee Taylor, Jo Morris, Ashley Robinson, Gary Tushaw and Adam Vaughan.
The show will mark the second production in the partnership between English National Opera (ENO) and the GradeLinnit Company, following on from the success of 'Sweeney Todd' in 2015.
"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 life-style. Joe becomes entrapped in a claustrophobic world until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free with dramatic consequences."
The semi-staged production will be directed by Lonny Price, with orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber, choreography by Stephen Mear, set designs by James Noone, costume designs by Tracy Christensen, Glenn Close’s costumes designs by Anthony Powell, sound by Mick Potter and lighting by Mark Henderson. Musical Director is Michael Reed who also conducts the orchestra of the ENO who will perform on stage.
Featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, Sunset Boulevard is produced by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd and is based on the original Paramount film by Billy Wilder.
Glenn Close made her professional theatre debut in Harold Prince's revival of 'Love for Love' on Broadway. She has won Tony Awards for her performances in 'The Real Thing' and 'Death and the Maiden', and returned to Broadway in November of 2014 to lead the cast of Edward Albee’s 'A Delicate Balance'. She is a six-time Academy Award nominated actress and has appeared in more than 35 films. This will mark her West End debut.
Michael Xavier is no stranger to the West End, having starred in recent productions of 'The Pajama Game', 'Love Story', and 'Into the Woods'. He has been nominated for two Olivier Awards and has appeared in long running productions such as 'Miss Saigon' and 'The Phantom of the Opera'.
Siobhan Dillon is currently playing the role of Ellen in 'Miss Saigon' at the Prince Edward Theatre. She rose to fame in 2006 after appearing on the BBC talent search 'How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?' Her West End credits include 'Grease', 'Legally Blonde' and 'Ghost the Musical'.
Fred Johanson has starred as Pontius Pilate in 'Jesus Christ Superstar' at the Lyceum Theatre and on European tour. He has worked all around Europe in musicals such as 'Evita', 'Children of Eden', 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Footloose'. He has previously played the role of Max in 'Sunset Boulevard' at the Gothenburg Opera.
Final casting is to be announced.