SUNSET BOULEVARD: Music Andrew Lloyd Webber, Book and Lyrics: Don Black and Christopher Hampton, Based on the Billy Wilder film
Touring to 28 April 2018
Dates and Tickets:. https://uktour.sunsetboulevardthemusical.com/
Runs: 2h 30m, onet interval: to 28 April 2018
Review Rod Dungate, 30 September 2017, Curve Theatre, Leicester
Gorgeous, with something to say
This is a most beautiful production – stylish and committed. There are strong performances, great singing and it all looks stunning.
The musical is based on the well-known Billy Wilder film – the story of an aging silent-film beauty who, unable to live in the real world, lives in a fantasy version of her youth. There’s passion and murder.
The play’s structure is slightly odd (Who is telling this story?) but this is a small thing set against the achievements of the adapters. Black, Hampton and Lloyd Webber have transformed the original melodrama into a powerful critique of the Hollywood and media machine, and the ned for us to have dreams, fulfil them, and live beyond them. ‘We gave the world a new way to dream’ is a constant refrain.
Ria Jones and Danny Mac carry the show with great ease. Jones keeps a tight hold on Norma creating a vulnerable and believable character. Her strong voice is warm and rounded, reaches out to us and draws us into her world. All the big songs earn big rounds of applause giving the show a thrilling electricity. Danny Mac is a perfect partner, a warm outgoing manner embraces us. While he plays each moment with great truth it’s interesting that we are never quite certain where Joe’s heart is; our own heart tells us he’s genuine and we like that. Mac has an easeful singing style, though accurate and crystal clear. His dramatic emotional shift for SUNSET BOULEVARD is immensely telling. Jones and Mac have created a great bond which is tangible to us, the characters’ affair is both edgy and beautiful.
Adam Pearce (Max) is a gentle steady presence throughout and he has an impressive singing range
Nicolai Foster has merged all elements into a smooth-running play with powerful contrasts, Colin Richmond’s designs create the period with lovely elegance. And under Adrian Kirk’s musical direction all the singing is spot-on and never falters in moving the narrative along.
Ria Jones: Norma Desmond
Danny Mac: Joe Gillis
Adam Pearce: Mac Von Meyerling
Molly Lynch: Betty Schaefer
Dougie Carter: Mrtie Green
Carl Sanderson: Cecil B DeMille
Joanna Goodwin: Swing and Dance Captain
Kristoffer Hellstrom: Sheldrake
Simon Loughton: Manfred
James Meunier: Myron
Gemma Naylor: Marilyn
Fiona O’Carroll: Joanna
Joanna O’Hare: Morino
Jessica Paul: Dawn
Sam Peggs: Hog Eye
Tom Vincent: Cliff
Barney Wilkinson: Adam