Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award winning musical rendition of the classic 1950’s film Sunset Boulevard is currently touring the UK and stopping at the Mayflower this week, I was kindly invited along to review the show on Wednesday evening.
Having never seen the film, I went with little knowledge of the story. However I was honestly captivated by the cast the whole way through this musical, the story is a complete whirlwind of events there are moments that I was genuinely shocked and stunned and didn’t know what was going to happen next. It had me gripped throughout, a thoroughly fabulous piece of theatre with a splendid score assisted by a live orchestra.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story of Sunset Boulevard, I’ll give you a quick run down; it’s a story of love, passion and obsession based in the wonderful land of Hollywood in the 1950’s, following the lives of those who are trying to make it whether that be in acting, producing or writing. The star of the show is ‘Miss Norma Desmond’ (Played by Ria Jones), a Hollywood original movie star, fallen silent as the years have passed, no longer in her prime. She hires a young, impressionable and may I add desperate, writer who is struggling to make his way in Hollywood, Joe Gillis, to help her write her own play, making her return back on the screen.
The opening number takes you to the heart of the hustle and bustle and busy lives in Hollywood before delving into the peculiar pairing of Miss Desmond and Gillis, who ends up falling for the lavish life of luxury whilst Miss Desmond desperate for love and affection falls for him, however this “love story” ends tragically in more ways than one. Ria Jones utterly dazzles the audience with her performance, my personal favourite being “with one look”, she completely owns this character and the stage, the finale was just superb.
The Show is only running at the mayflower until the 20th but the next location on the tour is Woking and you find out all the locations and dates on their tour website here!
*Tickets were complimentary for review purposes – photos are Mayflower press images supplied for review purposes.