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Matthew Jameson Reviews Sunset Boulevard at Alhambra Theatre Bradford

What better way to start an evening on Sunset Boulevard then in the Alhambra’s very own Restaurant 1914. Having never dined in this stylish and delightful eatery before I was very much impressed with delicious food and top quality friendly service with a smile. Now we’re ready to enter the world of Hollywood past as this classic tale of stardom, love and betrayal hits the ornate stage at Bradford’s prestigious theatre The Alhambra. Regarded as the North’s premier receiving venue they host the best in large scale entertainment from international dance to musicals, drama and Yorkshire’s biggest panto.

The name Danny Mac is set to draw an audience not only for his stint on Strictly but also as the lovable Dodger in Hollyoaks. Many times we have seen his impeccable physique, flexing those muscles, and to all his fans out there he again does not disappoint in bearing the flesh! Joe Gillis (Danny Mac) is a struggling writer in Hollywood trying to make a buck and stumbles upon the magnificent mansion of Norm Desmond (Ria Jones). Norma, a Hollywood star of yesteryear, has written a self-indulgent screenplay and asks Joe to help finish her masterpiece. What follows is a downward spiral of control, manipulation and perfect melodrama stretching our suspension of disbelief.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score is in true epic proportion providing the dark and somewhat sinister atmosphere surrounding Norma and her existence. Ria Jones gives a powerful, poignant performance encapsulating the inner torment and complete mental breakdown of this sad lonely character. Ria performs the iconic songs With One Look and As If We’d Never Said Goodbye beautifully, bringing the golden era of Hollywood back to life. Danny Mac commands the stage and shows us he’s really not just a pretty face and can belt out a showstopper with angst and feeling. Adam Pearce as Max steels some amazing moments with his incredible range with the whole cast bringing this fantastic show to life. Prepare to have the hairs standing on the back of your neck as this emotional roller coaster entertains us all.

     Matthew Jameson

About the Alhambra Theatre

The Alhambra Theatre is regarded as the North’s premier receiving venue and hosts the best in large scale entertainment from international dance to musicals, drama and Yorkshire’s biggest panto.

The venue seats 1,400 people and is a popular choice for major touring companies including Northern Ballet, Disney, the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Cameron Mackintosh. It has staged major West End shows including The Lion King, War Horse, Billy Elliot, Wicked and Mary Poppins. It is a member of The Dance Consortium, a group of theatres who work together to bring the best in international dance to the UK.

The Alhambra Theatre, the jewel in Bradford’s crown, was the vision of Francis Laidler, a local impresario. Laidler had the idea and vision to build a brand new theatre in 1912 and it was two years later that his dream was realised. The Alhambra Theatre was officially opened at 2pm on 18 March 1914. Five days later, it opened its doors to the general public on 23 March for a Variety show, which ran for a week.

Through the golden age of variety, the 1980’s refurbishment and up to the present day, the Alhambra Theatre has had a wonderful and varied history. It remains an iconic venue, attracting the very best in star names and live entertainment to the city of Bradford.

You can read more about the Alhambra Theatre’s history and the 100th year celebrations here.

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