2022 Sunset Boulevard

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Don Black and Christopher Hampton

Here are a selection of photos from the show, thanks to our photographer Andy Carter from "Photos with Style" for taking these, all the photos from the show can be found here... Promotional photos by Alex Churcher and Sophie Featherstone can be found here...

Spring 2022

‘Sunset Boulevard’ revolves around the former star of the silent screen era, Norma Desmond. Aging and largely forgotten for years, she lives in her dilapidated mansion in Hollywood with her butler and chauffeur, Max. Lost in her memories, she is stirred into action when struggling screenwriter, Joe Gillis, suddenly enters her home and her life. Joe is down on his luck and struggling to escape debt collectors. Norma offers him a room and board if he agrees to edit her incomprehensible script of Salome, a movie she has written and in which she wants to star as the teenage seductress. Norma is convinced that she is still as beautiful and in demand as ever. This misguided belief is sustained by Max, who writes fake fan letters to her and shields her from the realities of the much changed, modern-day movie business. Buoyed by Joe’s presence in her house, she lavishes him with gifts and soon declares her love for him. Her obsession with the young writer further reveals her increasing mental instability, and she threatens to commit suicide if Joe ever leaves her. When Norma visits the film set of a new Cecil B. DeMille movie, she becomes convinced that the director wants to produce Salome and begins to imagine her dramatic return to the screen. However when Norma learns of Joe’s secret work and love affair with the young Betty Schaefer, her fragile mental state completely breaks down and she fatally shoots Joe as he tries to leave the mansion. With no grip on reality any longer, Norma grandly sweeps down the stairs to the waiting police, declaring, “And now, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up."


Norma Desmond - Sarah Trotman
Joe Gillis - Jacob Botha
Max von Mayerling
- Steve Molyneux
Betty Shaefer
- Danielle Kerley
Cecil B. DeMille
- Paul Hyde
Artie Green
- Rick Qureshi
- Didrik Finne
- Simon Ferrier
Myron - Simon Ferrier
Mary - Julie Parker
Joanna - Subha Chelvam-Lewis
Finance Man - Paul Hyde
Sammy - Alexander Bohn
Morino - Caron Ireland
Wunderkid - Mike Ellis
Secretary - Jill Howlett
Lisa - Caron Ireland
John - Simon Ferrier
Anita - Aimee Clark-Hooker
Sandy - Richard Qureshi
Larissa - Laura Figge
Jane - Kirstie Hawkes
Glenn - Richard Qureshi
Danielle - Ellie Wade
Barman - Mike Ellis

Salesmen and Saleswomen
Alexander Bohn, Mike Ellis, Paul Hyde, Richard Qureshi, Alan Wilkins, Aimee Clarke-Hooker, Ellie Wade and Caron Ireland

Jill Howlett & Julie Parker

Rose Betteridge, Aimee Clark-Hooker, Laura Figge, Kirstie Hawkes, Jane Platts & Karen Wilson

Mike Ellis & Alan Wilkins

Harem girls
Aimee Clark-Hooker & Ellie Wade

Jean - Subha Chelvam-Lewis
Guard - Mike Ellis
Jones - Alan Wilkins
Hog-Eye - Simon Ferrier
Hedy Lamar - Laura Figge
Astrologer - Subha Chelvam-Lewis
Analyst - Ellie Wade
Doctor - Caron Ireland
Journalist - Julie Parker
Edith Head - Jane Platts
Veronica Darling - Rose Betteridge
Irene Sharaff - Karen Wilson


Jeff Raggett

Dennis Clarke-Hooker

Aimee Clarke-Hooker


Gloria Smith

I was delighted to attend your production of ‘Sunset Boulevard’ last week and as you are now in District 12 of NODA South East I look forward to many more such occasions.

Having performed at the Epsom Playhouse many times over the past years it was good to be there again, this time as a member of the audience.

‘Sunset Boulevard’ had its world premiere at London’s Adelphi Theatre in July 1993 and then its American premier in Los Angeles during December the same year. It has been staged across the world and returned to the West End in 2017 before later opening on Broadway. 

The Playhouse has a good -sized stage and lends itself well to the scenery/flats etc, some of which were quite substantial. The staircases and raised areas on stage provided different levels and the properties and furniture were suitable for the era. The revolving flats enabled scene changes to be accomplished quickly and quietly. 

In a show with very little dialogue it sometimes takes time for the audience to become wholly involved, but because of the excellent diction throughout we were drawn into the plot very quickly.

Musical numbers are far from straightforward, nor I imagine easy to learn in this musical, and the voice range has to be wide jumping as it does from a bass note to a top tenor and similarly for the ladies. It was most impressive that each and every soloist had the ability to cope with the vocal challenge presented.

In the role of Joe, Jacob Botha was excellent. He set the scene at the opening for what was to follow and his was a massive part. He was on stage for virtually the whole of the show and he couldn’t be faulted.

Sarah Trotman was superb. She portrayed faultlessly the character of the now jaded film star Norma Desmond, whose glamour had faded in all but her own eyes and her stance and demeanour were perfect. Her rendition of ‘With One Look’ was one of the many musical highlights in the show.

The loyal Max von Mayerling, who turns out to be an ex-husband, was clearly utterly devoted to Norma and Steve Molyneux played this role strongly.

As Betty Schaefer, budding writer and girlfriend of Artie, (which doesn’t seem to matter too much when Joe takes an interest in her!) Danielle Kerley was charming and gave a sound performance.

Artie Green, who I guess does get the girl in the end when Joe is shot dead by Norma, came across as a very likeable, lively character and was portrayed with confidence by Rick Qureshi.

Paul Hyde looked the part and was secure in the part of Cecil B DeMille.

Didrik Finne and Simon Ferrier gave good support to the principals in their respective roles of Sheldrake and Manfred.  

Members of the company had the opportunity to represent numerous different characters and each one added to the overall professional presentation of the show. I particularly enjoyed their opening number in the theatre dressing room and the salesmen and beauticians ones too. The man at the head of the team of clothes salesmen was especially good - the audience really enjoyed his performance. The Latin American chorus number at the New Year’s Eve party was great.

Act two opened strongly with Joe’s ‘Sunset Boulevard and ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye’ was a triumph. 

Costumes were suitable for the era and Norma’s costumes were fabulous! Joe’s change on stage into a dinner suit was nicely handled.

The use of black and white film for the car journey etc; worked well and the lighting and sound were also good.

Musical director and keyboard player Dennis Clark-Hooker made the small band sound like a well-balanced orchestra and at no time was the music too loud for the soloists.

Choreography by Aimee Clark-Hooker was very good and the direction by Jeff Ragget was commendable.

Your programme is nicely set out and interesting to read.

Thank you for inviting me to see ‘Sunset Boulevard’ and for your hospitality on the evening. Everyone involved in ‘Sunset Boulevard’ is to be congratulated for staging a first rate show.

I look forward to seeing ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ in October.