Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sunset Boulevard

Whilst away in London the other week, I also managed to catch Sunset Boulevard, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical on the stage. This is a musical that I have wanted to see for some time, as I missed its original run and as such had also planned my London trip in such a way to catch the limited return of this stage production.

The production was in a relatively small theatre by London standard and was also a very much scaled down production compared to the original. When I sat at my seat, I was initially confused when I noticed that there wasn’t an orchestral pit by the stage and as such, presumed that the backing music would not be performed live (much to my disappointment).

When the show started, it became immediately apparent how this was to be handled. The instruments were played on stage by the actors as part of the performance. As such, the performers had to hold numerous roles, namely that of actors, singers and musicians. They also had to quickly move about the stage whilst carrying and playing the instruments (which included a double bass). It really was some feat and incredibly impressive, perhaps even more so by the smaller scale of the production.

The only slight disappointment was that the theatre itself wasn’t even half full. This could perhaps be because Sunset Boulevard is not as popular as it once was, or it could also be a sign of the times for stage musicals. Either way, it was a little sad in light of the absolutely fantastic performance.

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