Lonny Price will direct the strictly limited run of 43 performances at ENO’s London Coliseum, which takes to the stage from 1st April to 7th May 2016. The full ENO orchestra will appear on stage alongside the cast in this semi-staged production. Further casting will be announced shortly.
With 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, making her West End debut as well as her first reprisal of the role for UK audiences, plays faded silent movie star Norma Desmond, for which she has previously won a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and a Dramalogue Award for the Broadway production directed by Trevor Nunn.
Sunset Boulevard will be presented by ENO with Michael Linnit and Michael Grade for Gate Ventures with Johnny Hon as Executive Producer.
Cressida Pollock, ENO, Chief Executive Officer said: ‘We at English National Opera believe that the combination of multiple award-winning Glenn Close, making her West End stage debut, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical Sunset Boulevard, will once again pack the London Coliseum with ENO regulars and new audiences for us. We are all looking forward to working on this next thrilling production with the GradeLinnit Company, the team that delivered this year’s hugely successful run of Sweeney Todd.’
Andrew Lloyd Webber said: ‘I am thrilled that London audiences will at last get a chance to see Glenn’s performance in the role of Norma Desmond which was so hugely acclaimed in the USA.’
Tickets for Sunset Boulevard cost £12 – £105, with 400 seats at £25 or less, including 100 at £12 for every performance. Priority booking opens for ENO friends (www.eno.org) at 10am on 25th September 2015 with public booking opening at 10am on 29th September 2015.
Based on Billy Wilder’s classic film, Sunset Boulevard originally premiered in London at the Adelphi Theatre in 1993, where it ran for almost four years and played to nearly two million people. It went on to open on Broadway in 1994 to what was then, the biggest advance in Broadway history, $37.5 million.
Quick plot: In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded, silent-screen goddess, Norma Desmond, lives in a fantasy world. Impoverished screenwriter, 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.
Visit www.eno.org to find out more and to book tickets on sale from 29th September 2015.
Image: Brigitte Lacombe