Norma Desmond in Plymouth

THE Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Sunset Boulevard comes to Plymouth’s Theatre Royal from 12th to 17th March, with Swansea-born Ria Jones in the central role of Norma Desmond.

The award-winning musical is a compelling story of romance and obsession, based on Billy Wilder’s film. The score includes the title track, Sunset Boulevard, as well as With One Look, As If We Never Said Goodbye, The Greatest Star Of All and The Perfect Year.

Norma, the faded, silent-screen goddess, lives in a fantasy world in her mansion on Sunset Boulevard. Her unwelcome peace is shattered by the arrival of impoverished screen writer Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors. Persuaded to work on Norma’s “masterpiece” – a film script that she believes will put her back in front of the cameras – Joe is seduced by her luxurious lifestyle and trapped in a claustrophobic world.

When he falls in love with another woman, he tries to break free – with dramatic consequences.

In 2016, Ria Jones understudied Glenn Close in the role of Norma Desmond at the London Coliseum. She stood in when Glenn Close was indisposed, attracting rave reviews and standing ovations for her performance.

Since then Ria has starred as Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street in Paris. Her West End credits include Fantine in Les Miserables, Grizabella in Cats and Florence in Chess.

Ria has also played the iconic role of  Mrs Overall in Acorn Antiques – The Musical.