UPDATE on 31/10/2015: New Earswick Musicals have created a new ticket hotline for Susnset Boulevard on 07759 260852 with no booking fee.
The show opens this evening. Tickets
“We’re one of only six societies who have been granted permission to perform this stunning masterpiece this year, before the show returns to the West End stage next year with Glenn Close as Norma Desmond after she originally opened the show on Broadway,” says director Steve Tearle.
“We won the rights to perform the show earlier this year, when our team produced an outline format to the Really Useful Group, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s own company, of how we would produce it on the York stage.
“We’ll be using different techniques to emulate the quick pace and to give the correct look and feel, and I’ve focused on every detail for what is a very different approach to staging a show for New Earswick Musicals.”
Steve is thrilled to be presenting Sunset Boulevard at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre from November 17 to 21. “I’ve always loved the show and have seen it on the stage, and we’re honoured to bring it to York and showcase the great talent of our great cast,” he says.
The inspiration behind the Lloyd Webber musical is Billy Wilder’s 1950 movie, Sunset Boulevard, a slice of film-noir that starred Gloria Swanson and William Holden in a dark storyline of faded 1920s’ Hollywood star Norma Desmond hiring a young screenwriter to help set up her movie comeback.
Lloyd Webber and lyricist Don Black’s 1993 musical version added such songs as With One Look, The Perfect Year, As If We Never Said Goodbye, Sunset Boulevard and the haunting Greatest Star Of All.
New Earswick stalwart Ann McCreadie will take on the role of haughty Norma Desmond in a return to the boards after directing the society’s shows for a number of years. “I’m loving being back on stage to play such a fantastic character as Norma Desmond,” says Ann. “She has many different sides to her character, which is something I can get right into.”
Robert Sager will play down-and-out writer Joe Gillis, the show’s narrator. “It’s a demanding part, but it’s a great challenge,” says Robert, who will be joined by Amelia Hattee Cook, completing a murderous love triangle as Betty in her first New Earswick role. “The music is so beautiful in this show; I’m loving being a part of the team,” she says.
Further principal roles go to Martin Rowley as the formidable American filmmaker Cecil B DeMille, Andrew Isherwood as Artie, Betty’s boyfriend, and Steve Tearle himself as Max von Mayerling, Norma’s former Hollywood director and husband and now her loyal servant.
“The show is a truly ensemble piece with 23 players all having vital roles to tell this intriguing story,” says Steve. “The cast have had such an amazing time with some great character performances and some fantastic comedy cameos. Everyone in the show is great and I’m so proud of this team; everyone is so talented.”
Mike Thompson will be controlling the forces of the largest orchestra that New Earswick Musicals have assembled in recent years. “This is one of my favourite musicals and when I heard New Earswick were performing it, I offered to be the musical director,” says Mike. “I’ve always loved the music and it’s going to be a fantastic production.”