Playing for just 43 performances at the London Coliseum, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s acclaimed musical Sunset Boulevard is back in London starring Glenn Close.
Marking the second production in the partnership between the English National Opera and the GradeLinnit Company (following sell-out hit Sweeney Todd), Sunset Boulevard is the gripping portrait of fading silent-screen actress Norma Desmond (Glenn Close). In a desperate bid to reclaim the spotlight, Norma hires penniless screenwriter Joe Gillis to write her a comeback role. Believing he can manipulate her, Joe agrees but soon finds himself trapped in Norma’s suffocating fantasy world.
Having won a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and Dramalogue Award for her portrayal of Norma on Broadway, Glenn Close now reprises this thrilling role for London audiences. Directed by Lonny Price (Sweeney Todd), this dazzling semi-staged production is based on the original film by Billy Wilder and features the full ENO orchestra on stage alongside the cast.
Sunset Boulevard is a musical of extraordinary dramatic energy and this latest powerhouse production is a must-see. Book your tickets today!
Sunset Boulevard reviews
BRILLIANT!! Glenn Close was exceptional, and made Norma Desmond her own. Great support from "Joe" & "Max" too! Waited a long time to see this performance, and it was well worth it!
GLENN CLOSE IS SIMPLY MAGNIFICENT, A THEATRE STAR AND WE ARE LUCKY TO HAVE HER HERE IN THE UK
show was very good but stage design can be better,
The whole production was magical. The cast were great. Glenn Close, was absolutely spellbinding. Don't miss this.
Amazing show, amazing cast and amazing venue. Nothing more to say xx
Beautiful venue in the heart of the city. Very easy to get to. The cast were all wonderful but Glenn Close literally takes your breath away. She was made for this part. A fantastic orchestra filled the rear of the stage. The sound from these talented musicians was truly stupendous. Well worth a visit to this lovely venue.
Superb performances from all of the cast and the orchestra. Excellent stage design with very high production values.
Spectacular performance by Glenn Close & the cast in a stunning theatre .The 48 strong onstage orchestra was the cherry on the cake !
It was great!!!!! Thank you very much!
Outstanding! Glen Close and cast were AMAZING. Fabulous production. Best yet.
The performance was the most wonderful, heart wrenching, emotionally draining, beautiful, magnificent I have ever heard in my life. From Orchestra, MD, ensemble, main characters, Siobhan, Michael, Fred and the True phenomenal STAR, GLEN CLOSE. I Bow down to your geniusness!!! Should there be such a word. THANK YOU XOXO
The colliseum is a hugely impressive building in the west end. Inside it's absolutely stunning and I knew we were in for a real treat. From the moment the ENO orchestra struck its first note it was an awsome evening. Brilliant cast and Glenn Close the quality lead... I can't get the tunes out of my head ! Privileged to be there and share the experience with my 13 year old daughter who was inspired by the show . Bravo !
The show was very good. I hadn't seen the film and I knew nothing about the stage version but I am a Glenn Close fan and that was enough reason to go see it. All the actors/singers were amazing. The orchestra sounded fantastic and the whole production was brilliant. I would go again and pay more for better seats if it wasn't such a short run.
Brilliant show. Would go again without hesitation.
Beautiful music, a fantastic orchestra and a cast that is to dream of! Glenn Close was stunning, mesmerizing, tantalizing...She proved once again that she is one of the greatest living American actresses. A night to remember!
Although I was disappointed that Glenn Close was not appearing in this performance ( ticket booked since September to see her ) Ria Jones did a fantastic job as understudy and after 5 minutes in you really don't miss Glenn Close - l throughly enjoyed the show- hats off to all the cast as it couldn't have been easy to get on the stage when people booed before giving them a chance to shine which they did ! I understand the disappointment but you can't help people being ill .
Wonderful lead male singer and Glen Close right for the part even if her voice was not her forte.
It's was fantastic love the stage and Glenn Close was amazing, I don't no how she kept going up and down them stairs, at her age put me to shame and I am 53 lol
Great show but would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been ripped off with your £11 per seat booking fee !! Will use another agency in future.
Magnificent show Glen Close was just wonderfull. The orchestration was the most sumptuous and the leading man am absolute dish. The rest of the cast was stella and the staging great. I think you csn see I loved it. Best thing I've seen for years.
It was a very exciting evening and everything and everybody gave us a performance of execellence top it up with the tremendous performance of Mrs Glen Close.
Fabulous! Ria Jones was espectacular!!! And the live orchestra, scenography and music were outstanding!
So much promise but the reality was so disappointing. The on stage band swamped the singers. The sound was out of balance in our seat 6 rows back. The emsembles needed more togetherness and audibility
Technically excellent and I loved the spectacle of the orchestra also being on stage, and how the sets/players wrapped round them. Less keen on the unrelenting Lloyd Webber tunes with sparse dialogue. I'm not always the greatest fan of musicals apart from Chess and Betty Blue Eyes and I would have liked the odd rest from the Home Counties music catalogue.
Glenn Close returned to the show after a short illness and still not feeling 100%. However she along with the rest if the cast were quite honestly outstanding ! The Amazing live orchestra just made this evening an event not to be missed!
Sunset was always a lumbering piece of Theatre in it/s original guise at the Adelphi way back in the 1992. Not so this superbly produced and directed and choreographed juggernaut of a spectacle at the Colisseum. The staging, without the huge cumbersome set in the original show. allows the story to move sprightly from one great number to the next. Glenn Close is a triumph as Norma Desmond, and the rest of the cast led by an excellent Michael Xavier as Joe Gillis sing and act superbly. A wonderful evening at the theatre!
Miss Glenn Close is phenomenal in the role most would claim belongs to her. Miss Close captured everything a performance should. She was witty, dramatic, charming, sad and a skilled singer. Her vocal technique was impressive, and when her vocal strength (limited by age) might have been more powerful, miss Close made up for it in vocal ability and masterful acting. The entire production was very professional, and the cast did a great job. The musical lacks a certain depth, and it misses better lyrics to good melodies; however, none of the songs are exceptionally memorable. It was a night to remember. Seeing one of the greatest actresses on stage was fantastic.
I wouldn't recommend this show to anybody. My companions and I considered leaving during the interval but decided to remain. The second half was better than the first but the show lacked verve and suffered from a monotonous musicality. It didn't stir the soul.
My partner and I saw the fabulous Glenn Close last night she performed still ill and what an experience,she was amazing so moving I lived it and am so pleased we got to see it. The whole cast is great it's a great story lived it.
Glenn Close did not disappoint worth the cost of the seats
Ria Jones was fantastic Came to see Glenn Close, and was a little disappointed when informed off ill, but Though Ria had big shoes to fill was amazing Brought the house down Ria is a star in the making
Please let me start by saying Ria Jones was amazing, truly amazing. I felt like that woman had been practising the role of Norma Desmond in the bathroom mirror since she was three. She clearly enjoyed every second, and good on her because she was incredible, a 5-star performance. However, you and I both know the reason we bought those tickets... Honestly, I couldn't really give two hoots about the play. I wanted to see Glenn Close in the flesh. People get sick, that's completely forgiveable, but what really niggled me was the hypocrisy and passive aggressiveness of the theatre company. They were happy to plaster Glenn Close's face and name over every piece of marketing for the play, "come and see Glenn Close in...", but when she called in sick, they made it all about the play to suit them; "you bought tickets to see Sunset Boulevard, and that is what you shall see". We had no notification of Glenn's absence until we showed up at the theatre and were greeted with passive-aggressive posters hung on the doors reading "due to Glenn Close being indisposed, Ria Jones will play the role of Norma Desmond. REFUNDS OR EXCHANGES NOT AVAILABLE". Right... Cheers guys. Really well-handled. Way to treat your customers who'd forked out £100 each on tickets. a wee discount would've been very much appreciated.
Better than our expectations. Blown away by it all! Laughed and cried. An emotional roller coaster. Exhausted by the end , but happily so !
Sunset Boulevard was fantastic, Glenn Close was sensational. The music is very good as is the staging. All in all a wonderful show
Epic performance by Glenn Close
Extremely disappointed that Glenn Close was not appearing as I had specifically booked to see her. Also, very disappointed with the programme - only one small photo of Glenn Close in the cast listing -no other photos of her from the show.
I loved it ! The music was hauntingly beautiful and Glenn Close was brilliant .She has great stage prescence. My friend who was with me saw it last time with an amazing set , I would have loved to have seen that ! The orchestra were excellent !
The reason I and most people have booked to see this is for Glenn Close but she was sick for the 3 show in a row. The understudy Ria Jones was an absolute sensation BUT I still would have loved to see Close. Still semi staged but more staged than Sweeny Todd. The cast from Dillion to Xavier were top notch. A theatrical experience like no other. Contemplating booking again before it ends - SUPERB
Whole cast brilliant ! Ria was fantastic ! Impressive how she took to the stage after the announcement of glen close being ill !
Whole cast brilliant ! Ria was fantastic ! Impressive how she took to the stage after the announcement of glen close being ill !
So disappointed that we were unable to get to see Glen Close last nght. Ria Jones's performance was great and she deserved the reviews but we paid specifically to see Glen Close and paid a premium price for the privilege. If this had happened on Broadway, my understanding is that we would have been offered a refund. Not here in the uk! Brits need to emulate the US way in this respect.
Superb staging including the wonderful orchestra. Very strong cast indeed. A privilege to watch. Saw this show many years ago and loved it, love it even more now!
We were disappointed to hear that Glenn Close was indisposed but Ria Jones was phenomenal in the role of Norma Desmond - so much so that we feel we were incredibly lucky to see her- an absolute triumph and we wouldn't have changed it for the world. The rest of the cast was excellent, the orchestra superb and having them centre stage of the imaginative set was spot on. A wonderful day night.
A wonderful production
having booked this show back in November last year for our wedding anniversary April 21st 2016, I was gutted that Glenn Close was indisposed and was not able to go on stage as Norma Desmond. Her stand in was a good singer but no way the fading star which I had hoped to see as portrayed by Miss Close. Had we known earlier in the day we would have applied for a refund. We came all the way from Edinburgh especially for the show. Cant you let folk know by e mail as I booked on line? Elizabeth Malcolm Edinburgh
If like me you booked to see Glenn Close and paid over £80 to do so you would probably be very disappointed that she didn't show up. Requests for refunds were turned down so there was no option but to leave or stay and watch an unknown (to me anyway) in the role. The show itself was OK and the cast were mostly very good. There was no lavish scenery as in previous productions of the show. The orchestra was on stage with gantries built for the performers to make use of. It worked nicely! I would probably have marked this show higher but without the star (who we'd paid a lot of money to see) it was in ways a let down from that point of view.
I went on 21st April - the performance started late with an announcement that Ms Close was indisposed and would be replaced by an understudy. She stepped in at short notice but in my view gave such an unsubtle and un-nuanced performance that I left at the interval. By accident or design the lights were dimmed immediately after the understudy was announced so I couldn't easily or politely leave before then as I was seated in a narrow row high up in the balcony. I asked the Colliseum about a refund or voucher but they say they have been told by the theatre company concerned not to provide this - pretty shoddy when Ms Close features so prominently in their advertising showing they understand her performance is the main reason for many people, like me, booking a ticket. People can't help getting ill but surely companies insureagainst this eventuality ?
Cast were amazing. Massively underwhelmed with the amateur set. This is one of the finest musicals ever and deserves every effect to make it spectacular. This joke of a set ruined what should have been a magical production. What were the producers thinking...?? Apart from saving money. Since when did Norma Desmond live on an iron staircase and rickety bridge? Gutted.
Great show with Glenn Close magnificent. Rest of the cast and Orchestra also outstanding. The semi staging was much,much better than I expected.
33 St Martin's Lane, Westminster, London
No refunds or exchanges after booking.
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