Ria Jones to star in Sunset Boulevard at the Curve and on tour

Ria Jones at the curtain call for Sunset Boulevard at the London Coliseum. Picture: Kevin Wilson

Ria Jones at the curtain call for Sunset Boulevard at the London Coliseum. Picture: Kevin Wilson

It has been revealed that Ria Jones will star in a new homegrown production of Sunset Boulevard as part of Leicester Curve’s autumn/winter 2017 season.

Actress and singer Jones stepped into the spotlight in April last year when she took over the leading role in Sunset Boulevard (after Glenn Close was too ill to perform) and won over the audience at the London Coliseum.

Jones will play fading movie star Norma Desmond in the musical based on the original Paramount film by Billy Wilder, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton.

Marking the first time a Lloyd Webber musical has been produced at the Curve, Sunset Boulevard will open on 28 September, with previews from 16 September, before beginning a major UK tour (dates have yet to be announced).

Bricusse’s much-loved re-imagining of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas CarolScrooge, will be the Curve’s festive family show running from 18 November until 7 January 2018 with an opening night on 23 November.

Sunset Boulevard, marking the first time a Lloyd Webber musical has been produced at the Curve, will open on 28 September, with previews from 16 September, before beginning a major UK tour (dates have yet to be announced).

The venue’s new Christmas production will be Leslie Bricusse’s festive classic Scrooge, directed by Foster, which will open at the Curve on 23 November, with previews from 18 November.

In a joint statement revealing details of both new Made at Curve productions, Curve chief executive Chris Stafford and artistic director Nikolai Foster said: “We are proud to present these two magnificent British musicals during 2017, cementing Curve’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading producers of musical theatre.

Sunset Boulevard is undoubtedly one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s finest scores and it will be the first time we have produced his work here at Curve. Strong female characters defined last year’s season and we are proud the astonishing Ria Jones will lead the Sunset company, continuing this tradition.

“Dickens’ astonishing hymn to humanity and the transformative power of charity over capitalism seems more relevant than ever and we are honoured Leslie Bricusse has trusted us with his musical adaptation of such a timeless story as Scrooge.

“As always, we are indebted to the Arts Council and Leicester City Council, but also to our co-producers, Michael Harrison and David Ian. Theatre must continue to evolve and find innovative ways to make the sums add up and we are honoured to work with such an accomplished range of theatres and co-producing partners across this year.”

Foster, who will direct both productions added: “When I got here, Sunset Boulevard was one of the British musicals at the top of my list to produce. We feel honoured that Andrew [Lloyd Webber] has trusted us with it.”

During the summer UK tours of Miss Saigon, Rent and Fantastic Mr Fox will visit the Curve, while The Wedding Singer starts its UK tour at the venue next month.

www.curveonline.co.uk

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