Guide to seeing Sunset Boulevard in Melbourne

Sarah Brightman as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard 2024


Posted May 07, 2024

Sunset Boulevard is an iconic musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber starring international recording star Sarah Brightman. Here’s everything you need to know about this lavish production.

“And now, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up...”

Sunset Boulevard returns to the stage in a brand-new production featuring lavish sets and costumes alongside the musical’s iconic score with hits like ‘The Perfect Year’ and ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye’.

Having previously toured Broadway and West End and won three Tony Awards, Sunset Boulevard is a masterpiece of musical theatre. This strictly limited Melbourne season is led by international recording star Sarah Brightman, who is returning to theatre for the first time in almost three decades.

RACV Members can access a special upgrade offer for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening performances of Sunset Boulevard.

Don’t miss out on this glamorous Hollywood Golden Age hit. Here’s what you need to know to make the perfect night out at Sunset Boulevard.

More: The best musicals and theatre shows coming to Melbourne in 2024

Watch the official introduction to Sunset Boulevard.

Everything you need to know to see Sunset Boulevard in Melbourne

What is Sunset Boulevard about?

Sunset Boulevard is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, based on the Billy Wilder 1950 film noir by the same name.

In Sunset Boulevard, a famous star of the silent screen era, Norma Desmond, has been ousted by the new ‘talkie’ films. Now decades past her prime, Norma is convinced she’s still as beautiful and popular as ever – and her loyal butler-chauffeur Max von Mayerling shields Norma from reality by writing fake letters from her ‘fans’.

When Norma meets struggling Hollywood screenwriter Joe Gillis, she spots an opportunity to make her big return. What follows is a passionate, volatile tale of romance, paranoia and fury.

Is Sunset Boulevard suitable for children?

Sunset Boulevard is recommended for ages 12 and up. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Please note that the play includes strobe lighting, smoke effects, gunshots, and thematic material that may not be suitable for minors.


Sunset Boulevard Melbourne 2024 cast

Sunset Boulevard is a Tony Award-winning musical. Images: Ben King

How long is Sunset Boulevard playing in Melbourne?

Sunset Boulevard is playing in Melbourne from 21 May 2024 until mid-August 2024, after which the production will move to Sydney.

What is the run time of Sunset Boulevard?

Sunset Boulevard runs for around 2.5 hours, including an interval.

Who is the Melbourne cast in Sunset Boulevard?

This production of Sunset Boulevard is directed by Paul Warwick Griffin, with the incredible set and costumes designed by Morgan Large. Choreography is by Ashley Wallen, with musical supervision by Kristen Blodgette, lighting design by Mark Henderson, and video and projection design by George Reeve.

Sunset Boulevard’s cast comprises:

  •  Norma Desmond – played by Sarah Brightman, who originated in the role of Christine in Broadway and West End’s The Phantom of the Opera. She has since become the world’s bestselling soprano.
  • Norma Desmond (alternate) – Silvie Paladino, a powerhouse in Australasian musical theatre, will play Norma Desmond on Melbourne’s Tuesday evening and Wednesday matinee performances.
  • Joe Gillis – Tim Draxl
  • Max von Mayerling – Robert Grubb
  • Betty Shaefer – Ashleigh Rubenach
  • Artie Green – Jarrod Draper
  • Cecil B. DeMille – Paul Hanlon
  • Sheldrake – Troy Sussman
  • Swing – Amy Berrisford (Dance Captain), Taylor Scanlan (Assistant Dance Captain), Regan Barber, Campbell Braithwaite, Benjamin Colley, and Charlotte Page
  • Ensemble – Billy Bourchier, Grace Driscoll, Madison Green, Peter Ho, Leah Lim, Mary McCorry, Morgan Palmer, Caity Plummer, Tom Sharah, Lisa Sontag, Riley Sutton, and Dean Vince.
Sunset Boulevard Melbourne 2024 cast

The lead role of Norma will be played by Sarah Brightman and alternate Silvie Paladino.

How can I buy tickets to Sunset Boulevard?

The only authorised ticket seller to Melbourne’s production of Sunset Boulevard is Ticketek.

RACV Members can access a special upgrade offer for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening performances of Sunset Boulevard. Premium tickets will be available for A Reserve prices, A Reserve tickets will be available for B Reserve prices, and so on.

What Melbourne theatre is Sunset Boulevard showing in?

Sunset Boulevard is showing in Melbourne’s iconic Princess Theatre, which is located at 163 Spring Street.

Princess Theatre holds up to 1,500 audience members over its three levels: Stalls, Dress Circle and Grand Circle. The theatre dates all the way back to 1854 and retains its old-world charm and majesty thanks to a total refurbishment in 1989.

World-class stage productions such as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Mamma Mia!, Dirty Dancing, Hairspray, and Matilda the Musical have all found a home at Princess Theatre.

Does Princess Theatre have a dress code?

Princess Theatre doesn’t have a dress code. Some patrons dress formally, as for a ballet or opera, while most people dress in smart casual wear. Wear what you're comfortable in.

Please note, however, that you can’t bring handbags and satchels larger than an A4 piece of paper into the show.


actress standing on Princess Theatre stage surrounded by candles

Princess Theatre is home to Melbourne's Sunset Boulevard production.

What restaurants and bars are near Princess Theatre?

Like most theatres, you can grab drinks and snacks from the Princess Theatre’s bars before the show and during its interval. If you’re feeling fancy, the Princess Theatre’s private suites and premium lounge area hosts exclusive dinner and cocktail packages.

Whether you want lunch before a matinee show, dinner before an evening show or nibbles afterwards, there are plenty of quality restaurants near Princess Theatre in Melbourne’s East End theatre district.

Try aromatic Thai sharing plates at Longrain, chargrilled Argentinian at San Telmo, authentic Italian at Pellegrini’s, or eclectic Mexican at Bodega Underground. If you’re after more casual food near Princess Theatre, tasty options include American-style slow cooked barbeque at Fancy Hank’s, pizza slices from S.P.Q.R., or one of the many Asian eateries lining Chinatown on Little Bourke Street.

For group bookings, Sojourn offers large share plates focused on local Victorian produce and is just a short walk or tram ride from the Regent Theatre.

Whether you prefer sweet cocktails or a sour tipple, there’s a cornucopia of pubs and cocktail bars near Princess Theatre. If you want to really impress your theatre date, take them to the dimly-lit speakeasy Eau de Vie on Malthouse Lane, the glamorous Nick & Nora’s on Collins Street, or the fairytale-themed StoryVille on Lonsdale Street - some of Melbourne's best cocktail bars.

Melbourne Chinatown

There are plenty of great dining options near Princess Theatre. Image: Visit Victoria

How do I get to Princess Theatre?

Download the free journey planner arevo to get to Princess Theatre via bus, tram, train, e-scooter, car or bicycle.

If you’re driving, some of the best parking near Princess Theatre is at the nearby Wilson Parking secure car parks, where theatre patrons can access discounted parking rates.


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