Page last updated at 17:52 GMT, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Sunset to make West End comeback

Ben Goddard and Kathryn Evans in Sunset Boulevard
Goddard (left) plays the role William Holden played in the 1950 film

A small-scale production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Sunset Boulevard will open in London next month.

It is the first time the musical has been seen in the West End since 1997.

Kathryn Evans will play Norma Desmond, the role played on screen by Gloria Swanson and on stage by Patti LuPone, Elaine Paige and Glenn Close.

The show, first staged at the Watermill theatre in West Berkshire earlier this year, is directed by Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood.

Based on the classic Billy Wilder film, Sunset Boulevard tells of a struggling Hollywood screenwriter, played by Ben Goddard, and his relationship with Desmond, a faded star of the silent era desperate to make a comeback.

'West End comfort'

"There were many, many people who couldn't see the show here because of our limited seating capacity," said the Watermill's artistic director Hedda Beeby.

"This news means that they can now see it in the comfort of the West End."

Sunset Boulevard will open at the Comedy Theatre in December following the closure of the Neil LaBute play Fat Pig, in which Kelly Brook appears.

It is the fourth musical theatre production to transfer to London from the Watermill following The Gondoliers in 2001, Sweeney Todd in 2004 and Mack and Mabel in 2006.

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