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.