ANDREW Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard has been playing to rave reviews in the West End recently, with Nicole Scherzinger taking the lead role, but the lucky people of Ilkley and West Yorkshire will have a chance to see it a little closer to home, when Ilkley Musical Theatre Society (formerly Ilkley Amateur Operatic Society) stage the show at the King’s Hall in March.

Sunset Boulevard, based on the Billy Wilder film of the same name, centres on the delusional former silent film star Norma Desmond. Norma has been discarded by Paramount Studios with the advent of ‘The Talkies’ but dreams of making a triumphant return. With the help of a struggling screenwriter, Joe Gillis, Norma plans her movie comeback, with tragic consequences. Set in the glamour of 1950s Hollywood, the musical features an iconic score, including the songs With One Look, The Perfect Year and As If We Never Said Goodbye.

The role of Norma is taken by Rachel McMahon. “Playing the iconic role of Norma Desmond is going to be a huge challenge”, says Rachel. “It’s sixteen years since I performed on stage in a musical, after migrating to Australia, starting a family and then returning to the UK, so I feel a certain empathy with Norma in staging my own comeback! The role is a physically and vocally challenging one, and I just hope I do Norma justice.”

The show runs from March 6th to 9th with shows Wednesday to Friday at 7.15pm and Saturday at 1.30pm and 6.30pm. Tickets are on sale now via