Here at last. But will this revival of ‘Sunset Boulevard’ live up to expectations?

Sunset Boulevard

What is there to say about Glenn Close that hasn’t already been said? Talented, gutsy, beautiful, inspiring…and, if that wasn’t enough, a great singer. A more extraordinary actress you’d be hard pushed to find. And yet, ‘Sunset Boulevard’, at the Coliseum, left me feeling slightly underwhelmed. Not, it goes without saying, because of GC’s performance – nor was it the fault of the rest of the young, vibrant cast, who looked & acted as though they were having a ball. And I loved the spectacular, 1930s art deco set, which very nearly upstaged GC herself.

Upon reflection, I think there were two reasons: (1) Whilst I am unashamedly an Andrew Lloyd-Webber fan, ‘Sunset Boulevard’ is by no means his best musical, and (2) The phenomenally inflated ticket prices – which, however good the show, were always going to leave a bad taste in the mouth. Admittedly, I maybe in a minority; three standing ovations had gone by before I was able to make a bid for freedom and the 38 bus home. It’s just that, blessed as I am to spend a considerable amount of time in London’s theatres, I know from first-hand experience that it is possible to witness art and music in all of their varying forms without being fleeced in the process.

I’m glad that I got to see Glenn Close on stage – I’ve admired her for as long as I can remember and, strange though it may seem, it’s the first time she has appeared in the West End. But I do wish that theatres would stop taking advantage of (dreaded word) “celebrity” names to charge unfair prices – and remember why theatre was created in the first place, in other words as entertainment that can be enjoyed by everyone.

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