The new semi-staged production will begin performances at the London Coliseum April 1, 2016, prior to an official opening April 4, for a run of 43 performances only through May 7.
It will be directed by Lonny Price, who also staged this year's semi-staged production of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd at the London Coliseum. Both productions are part of a partnership between English National Opera (ENO) and the GradeLinnit Company.
The musical originally premiered at the West End's Adelphi Theatre in 1993, starring Patti LuPone in the role of Norma Desmond. She was contractually due to reprise the role on Broadway, but was controversially replaced by Close after Close had a successful run in the role in the North American premiere of the show in Los Angeles. Faye Dunaway, who was to replace Close in the L.A. production, was also dismissed before she began performances, and the production closed there.
With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, Sunset Boulevard is produced by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd and is based on the original Paramount film by Billy Wilder. The full ENO orchestra will appear on stage alongside the cast in this semi-staged production.
Further casting is still to be announced.
Close has previously appeared on the London stage in Trevor Nunn's National Theatre production of A Streetcar Named Desire. In a press statement, Lloyd Webber said, "I am thrilled that London audiences will at last get a chance to see Glenn's performance in the role of Norma Desmond which was so hugely acclaimed in the USA."
Cressida Pollock, ENO, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We at English National Opera believe that the combination of multiple award-winning Glenn Close, making her West End stage debut, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical Sunset Boulevard, will once again pack the London Coliseum with ENO regulars and new audiences for us. We are all looking forward to working on this next thrilling production with the GradeLinnit Company, the team that delivered this year's hugely successful run of Sweeney Todd."
Priority booking for ENO friends opens Sept. 25, with public booking from Sept. 29. TO book tickets, contact the box office 020 7845 9300 or visit eno.org