Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Sunset Boulevard @ Savoy Theatre…

Last night I went to see Sunset Boulevard at the Savoy Theatre in London glitzy west end.   

Yes, 30 years after the original West End production, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black & Christopher Hampton's iconic musical is back in the capital.  

This time around we have ex-Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger taking on the role of Norma Desmond - the dwindling star of the silent screen era of Hollywood movies.   

And boy the girl can sing. And dance. And has delightful comic timing. For indeed this is a very funny production. In both senses of the word.   

For there are jokes aplenty; winks to audience, fourth wall breaking asides, backstage and outside filming trickery with chimps, dressing room antics, and the cast snogging and taking drugs!  

Yes, it’s a pretty meta show. Although not an overly  fussy one. Jamie Lloyd has certainly stripped-back proceedings. No set. No costumes. No props. No colour - it’s a black and white production.

A single screen at the back is lowered every now & again and used to project footage from on stage cameras. Allowing for that famed Cecil B De Milne close-up.   

That said, this minimalist approach allows the music and the songs to shine. And shine they do.   

The orchestra were magnificent; With One Look, The Perfect Year, As If We Never Said Goodbye were all stunning.   

Although Let's Have Lunch is probably still my favourite from the show, Every Movie's A Circus is just as cleverly choreographed by Fabian Aloise.  
So does the production work? For me, Yes, it does. Not least because Lloyd Webber’s shows are so good. Ok maybe not as bullet proof as Shakespeare plays are. But, overwrought melodrama at the close aside, it’s hard to get them too wrong.  

That said, maybe I didn’t really miss the set or costumes as I know the show so well. I wonder what first timers to Sunset Boulevard would make of it all. Could they follow the plot as easily without all those visual clues I wonder?

For me though, it’s a winner. And boy Ms Scherzinger can belt out a tune. Goosebumps. 

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