Ria Jones makes the starring role her own in Sunset Boulevard tour

02 Feb
Posted in: Theatre News
Author: Press Releases
Ria Jones stepped in at short notice for Glenn Close at English National Opera

She's a #StageFaves legend, the 'understudy' who saved the day last year when Hollywood star Glenn Close was taken ill at the London Coliseum. And now, Ria Jones, who originated the role at Andrew Lloyd Webber's private Sydmonton Festival workshop in 1991, will fully make Norma Desmond her own in a major new production that opens at Leicester Curve in September ahead of a UK-wide tour...

Michael Harrison and David Ian are delighted to present the UK and Ireland tour of the Curve production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award-winning musical SUNSET BOULEVARD. Starring Ria Jones as Norma Desmond and directed by Nikolai Foster, SUNSET BOULEVARD will open at Leicester Curve, where it runs from 16 to 30 September 2017 with a press night on 28 September, before touring the UK and Ireland.

One of the all-time great musicals, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award®-winning (Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical) masterpiece SUNSET BOULEVARD is a compelling story of romance and obsession, based on Billy Wilder’s legendary film, with Don Black and Christopher Hampton’s wonderful book and lyrics. This much-loved score includes the title number Sunset Boulevard, With One Look, As If We Never Said Goodbye, The Greatest Star Of All and The Perfect Year and will be performed by a full orchestra.

In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded, silent-screen goddess, Norma Desmond, lives in a fantasy world. Impoverished screen writer, Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive world. Persuaded to work on Norma’s ‘masterpiece’, a film script that she believes will put her back in front of the cameras, he is seduced by her and her luxurious life-style.  Joe becomes entrapped in a claustrophobic world until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free with dramatic consequences.

Last year, Ria Jones played the role of Norma Desmond at the London Coliseum when Glenn Close was indisposed, receiving rave reviews and standing ovations for her performance. Ria has recently starred as Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Her West End credits include Fantine in Les Misérables, Grizabella in Cats and Florence in Chess. Her touring credits include Alex in The Witches of Eastwick, Mrs Overall in Acorn Antiques – The Musical, Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes and The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Following Leicester, SUNSET BOULEVARD will visit Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dublin, Milton Keynes and, into 2018, Bristol, Southampton, Woking, Southend and Bradford, with further dates to be announced.

Director Nikolai Foster is Artistic Director at Curve, one of the UK’s leading regional theatres. His work at Curve includes Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing and Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, both on tour and in the West End; A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and the musicals Grease and Legally Blonde. He directed the hugely successful recent productions of Annie starring Craig Revel Horwood and Calamity Jane starring Jodie Prenger.