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Calling upon all #CreativeEntrepreneurs in the #PerformingArts as the Global Entrepreneurship Week Kicks Off

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As I am writing this, I just noticed that the Global Entrepreneurship Week started all over the world and that I – had I not been researching entrepreneurship as part of an online programme I am working on – would have missed it.

This is a great initiative, even for arts entrepreneurs who have a career in the cultural and creative industries, so if you haven´t checked it out then I recommend that you do so. During this week, or even the whole month in many places such as Sweden for instance, you will get access to seminars, workshops, competitions, events and much more, all with the aim of supporting you as a business owner. Want to know how to do your own bookkeeping, charge VAT in the arts industry or run a business? Well, look no further – this is a great place to get started. Because, let´s face it, most of us didn’t start working in the arts to make money, but as it happens money is necessary to keep us afloat, survive and thrive. Having worked in the performing arts industry for almost 20 years now in various leadership roles, I know first hand of the struggles to raise funds to pay for activities and how hard it can be when you feel that you are under-valued and under-appreciated by potential clients. They often assume you will work for free or almost nothing at all, often offering exposure as a way of payment (this is a topic that deserves its own discussion, so I’ll get back to you on that one with some tips and advice on how to deal with it).

Now is a good time to ask yourself if you have made plans for the success of your own business. Do you feel that you are in control of your budget, monthly cash flow and upcoming promotions? Are you overwhelmed by administrative work when all you want to do is to focus on your artistic contribution to the world, but lack money and resources to outsource and delegate it? In that case I have good news for you. Now is the perfect time to finish off the year in style and lay out the plans for 2017 to start the new year strong. Nothing beats having a clear vision with goals and milestones mapped out.

If you are interested in a free webinar to give you some ideas on how to plan your year and upcoming projects ahead, then sign up by completing your details in the form below and let me know your number one question you have about running your own business, projects and launches in the performing arts.

I look forward to hearing from you, and in the meantime –

Have a magnificent day!

Keep on Shining Brightly – On and Off Stage!

Sofie Haag
Founder and Managing Director
From Sweden

Promotional partners – your best friends when it comes to event promotion

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For many years, we at From Sweden Productions have worked closely with sponsors and promotional partners to maximize the impact of our events. And we are not alone. In today’s economy, it’s becoming increasingly common to collaborate and form strategic alliances which are mutually beneficial for everyone.  By having a promotional partner, you’ll be able to reach people that are outside your current captive audience.  It will help you to build trust too, since people who trust your partner will inherently trust you (and this goes both ways, which is important to remember). It will also help you to sell tickets, up-sell other offers you might have (merchandise, workshops, courses etc) and build your database for the future. If it’s done correctly, it can also strengthen and position your brand as the no. 1 in your industry and open doors to powerful investors and major key influencers.

If you haven’t already, think about your own company/event and how you could bring promotional partners on board. A word of advice: don’t “sell” anything. Instead, clarify the benefit you are offering them when partnering up with you AND at the same time, make sure you see things from their perspective so that you can add value to them too – it has to go both ways.

9 examples of value you could offer them:

  • Brand association with your brand
  • Getting their key message in front of your audience through a solo ad
  • Use your product/service as a value add to their clients/staff/customers
  • An opportunity to increase their own database with people from your database (there are ways of doing this without spamming your own list)
  • Tickets to the show
  • Invitation to post-show VIP event
  • Behind the scenes pass
  • Advert in your show programme
  • Logo on your website/marketing materials

And in return they can help you:

  • Hand out flyers
  • Put up posters
  • Send out information/newsletters/box office info to their list
  • Include you in their marketing materials
  • Invite key people to your event
  • Give advice as to what they would like to hear on stage
  • Bring other partners (and potentially also sponsors on board)
  • Other: fill in blank _____________

Here are a few inspiring examples of successful co-branding partnerships (and why they’re so great):

A word of advice before you embark on any new collaboration…

You can’t build a successful relationship if you don’t know why you want to go into a partnership in the first place. The first stage therefore is to understand what the problem is that you want to solve and any benefit a potential partnership could bring to you, your company and your customers.

Don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you have any questions on the above. We are here to help!

Keep on Shining Brightly – On and Off Stage!

Sofie Haag

Founder and Managing Director, From Sweden Productions

DIY Promo Tip: How to maximise the impact of your press conference

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Do you want to organise a press conference for your upcoming launch? Are you worried that not enough journalists will show up, but still want to make a big impact? Here are 5 tips to maximise the impact of your press conference:

1) Live stream

Take charge of the process by live streaming the event, and then broadcasting it on social media. There are several free apps you can use for this such as Periscope, Google Hangout, Facebook Live, XSplit Free, Bambuser, YouNow and Open Broadcaster Software to mention just a few.

2) Bring your own photographer and record the event on video

I also highly recommend you bring your own top quality photographer, as well as someone who can record the event on to a high quality video which you can use for future promotional purposes. This way you can mix and match highlights from the event into your marketing campaign. Make sure everyone stays behind afterwards for any additional photos you might want to take. The media love fresh images – and video – to go with the press materials.

If you have a photographer there, why not take the opportunity to update your own portfolio at the same time. Ask the photographer to do both landscape and portrait images, as well as full body and head shots. I am amazed at how many artists/creatives don’t have high res photos of themselves (especially not new ones).  You could even use this to create an additional income stream for yourself by offering the other people on the panel the opportunity to buy individual photos of themselves which can be used both for this campaign and future ones.

Inside tip: Have a think beforehand how you want to portray both yourself and the event you want the media to cover, and make sure your clothes, makeup and body language match that.

Inside tip: The video can be uploaded to YouTube to drive more traffic to your site (both in full from the event, but also behind-the-scenes interviews with participants, which can be uploaded later).

If there is a Q & A at the end, don’t forget to record it as well so you can incorporate it into the promotional campaign materials.

3) Ask people who are online to submit questions

Inside tip: Ask people on the live feed to ask questions too, so you can respond live.

Depending on how you marketed your press conference, you could also offer people a chance to ask questions beforehand which you can answer during the live event.

4) Invite people on the panel to be more actively involved in the promotion

Brief everybody on the panel afterwards on how you intend to use the result of the press conference and ask them to actively participate on social media by tweeting, posting, retweeting, and tagging each other for maximum viral reach. Make sure they’re aware of your code of conduct regarding how to behave online and in the press, what to say and what not to say, and what actions they need to take.

5) Post-press conference press kit, updated with the very latest info

Finally, immediately after the event, create your own updated press kit (prepare as much as possible beforehand) and include comments from the press conference, fresh pics, video links and other information to help the media feature it immediately, even if they weren’t able to come to the event in person. Also, create and add a hashtag for the event, so that attendees can connect with each other and you can follow what´s being said about it online.

Best of luck!

Keep on Shining Brightly – On and Off Stage!

Sofie
Founder, From Sweden Productions

PS: Have we missed any new live streaming tools that you would like to recommend? Please share them in the comment section below!

DIY Promo Tip: The law of attraction and how to raise money for your project

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Have you ever planned an upcoming project, and worried about the finances? You have this great idea, perhaps a strong artistic vision that you would like to come into fruition, but lack the money to pay for it? “If only” …I am sure you know what I am talking about.

Well, allow me to let you in on a little secret. It has everything to do with your mindset! Instead of chasing money, applying for grants and scholarships for the 20th time with no promises of a return on your investment of time and energy, do the exact opposite.

Focus on what it is you want and your BIG WHY behind it. How will your project serve others and be of value to them? THEN create attraction around that idea, partner up with other people who share your vision and look into OTHER sources of income. Sources you can control! You see, there are hundreds of ways you can make money today, but we are not trained to think this way. Instead, as artists – especially in classical music, performing arts, jazz, folk- and world, singing and song writing…you get the drift – we are being told to perform for the pleasure of getting noticed and a vague promise of future possibilities that might never happen. A false sense of having to be so grateful for grants, which so easily turns us into passive beggars, instead of empowered business professionals in the cultural sphere.

A mentor of mine, Roger James Hamilton, has a wonderful metaphor for this:
“Searching for customers is chasing after butterflies with a net. Attracting customers is building a garden, the butterflies come to you.”

So, stop chasing money, audiences, grants etc.

Instead, be clear about what it is you want and then tap into where the flow is and create your own sources of income. It takes a bit of planning, and you can start strong by brainstorming the top 20 ways to bring in money and secure positive cash flow in your project; here are 10 ways to get you started and then you can add 10 more:

1. Box office revenues
2. Sponsors
3. Advertisers
4. Crowd funding
5. Patrons
6. Investors
7. Donations
8. Merchandise
9. Sell online tutorials
10.Sell online behind-the-scenes interviews
11……
12……
13……
14……
15……
16……
17……
18……
19……
20……

Please note that you can of course apply for government grants etc, but don´t let the fate of your passion project be at the mercy of others. You need to be clear about your financial goals and when you need them to happen. THEN, make sure to track and measure your finances on a DAILY BASIS! If this is not your forte, hire someone to do it for you. Believe me, it will be well worth the investment!

Best of luck with this,

Keep Shining Brightly – On and Off Stage!

Sofie Haag
Founder, From Sweden Productions

DIY Promo Tip: How to shine Off Stage (as well as On stage) as a performer

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I am writing this in the air, on my way to Stockholm from London where I last night attended the opening night of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical, Sunset Boulevard, in London’s West End. It was a magical evening; Glenn Close, Fred Johanson, Michael Xavier, Siobhan Dillon and their fellow cast members were radiant on stage (including ENO’s Olivier-award winning orchestra and stellar ensemble) and the performance closed to standing ovations and such a loud cheer that the roof almost lifted. I was moved, so deeply touched by the performance that I still cannot shake the feeling that I have witnessed something quite out of the ordinary yesterday. Something that will stay with me – and the rest of the audience – for as long as we remember.

This morning we woke up to glowing reviews from prestigious magazines and newspapers in both the UK and abroad, and I am sure the whole production team feels such a great relief today. Their vision for the project worked, ENO has been under hardship for quite some time but now not only have they won an Olivier Award this week but also showed, once again, what excellence means in the world of theatre, arts and business.

Throughout the rehearsal period, people have been tweeting, Facebooking, Instagraming and sharing their support for the actors and the production online, asking about tickets and information about the show. In online marketing it is a common saying that you have to be where your target market is, you have to show up where they hang out and in this case, as an artist – or creative of any sorts involved with a production like this – you increase your chances of getting exposure by making sure you have set up your online media presence in such a way that people can tag you, include you in posts, PM you and connect with you directly to ask questions.

To give you a good example. Before we started, Fred didn´t have Twitter, or an official Facebook account, a YouTube channel or even a proper website. By just taking a few simple measures to set up these accounts and then aim to post daily, he is now allowing fans to connect with him directly and show him their support. And not only that, the other people in the production are able to include him in their tweets and FB posts (and vice versa), not only making it easier to communicate within the team but also create buzz and drive traffic to the various platforms and the production itself. And when you have more traffic, you rank higher in search engines so that press and potential producers looking to cast new productions are able to find you much easier.

You increase your chances of media exposure AND future gigs by making yourself available to the public eye. This way you can control what´s being said about you, post relevant info that you want media to know and it also increases your attraction as someone to hire for a new show. Why? Because like it or not, performing arts is an expensive industry and all producers want to see a financial return from their investment. If they know that you are not only talented and great on stage, but also actively contribute to increased box office revenues and media attention – well, then you have just increased your chances of being hired again. And again. Which builds your following, which adds more buzz to your brand, which makes you more fun to write about in the media. You get the drift.

My challenge to you is this. If you are an artist, an actor, singer, musician or performer of any kind and want to get more recognition for what you do – go over your online media presence, update it to include the latest info, biography, photos, audio and video links.

You might say at this point, “yeah yeah – I know. I just haven’t gotten around to doing that just yet.” Well, then I am here to say Do it TODAY! Don´t wait another day, tap into the flow and start sharing your voice with the market place to become a key player in your field.

Keep on Shining Brightly – On and Off Stage!

Sofie Haag
Founder and Managing Director,
From Sweden Productions

The number 1 thing you MUST do before commencing any new promotion

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Last week I talked about the number one thing you must do before launching a project. If you fail to do this, you won’t get the results you desire.

So, what is it? It’s so simple, and yet it’s sometimes more challenging to identify than we care to admit. It’s CLARITY. I’m talking about clearly identifying the OUTCOME you want, and your big reason WHY you want this outcome. Don’t make it overly complicated; in a sentence or two describe what it is you want and why in such a way that you engage emotionally with the outcome. You see, we have all made these big promises and set these major goals (New Year Resolutions anyone?) but all too often we don’t see them through. The reason is often not lack of discipline but lack of support on a daily basis.

Let´s say you have this big vision for a promotion you want to do. It could be a concert, an upcoming event or launch of some kind. Now, take out a piece of paper and write down exactly what you want to do and why. Do you have a time frame in mind? Add that too. You don’t have to have all the details of the plan in place just yet, but by knowing where you want to go and when, you can then add the missing pieces in an aligned way where it all fits in with the bigger picture.

Make your vision compelling and attractive, something you would be willing to fight for – and be inspired by – on a daily basis. Also, identify several goals within the project; Creative/Artistic, Financial, Educational, Development goals (for instance, the development goal could be to organise a list of media contacts, audience goers etc as a result of this particular promotion). Again, keep it simple and to the point. You don’t want any confusion about what it is you are setting out to do. And you should be able to easily explain it to anyone who asks.

An inside tip is to not only be clear about what you want to achieve, but also what you are willing to sacrifice to get to the goal. This, my friend, is one of the biggest lessons to learn. One which will dramatically improve your results. Let’s face it, all too often it sounds exciting at the start but then things happen along the way that knock you off balance and you lose momentum and motivation. You might fall ill, another big and time consuming job comes up, a close relative needs your support, your children are on school holidays and you have no childcare to back you up etc; these are all things that slow you down. Identify potential internal and external challenges and problems within the project beforehand and have a think about how you plan to handle them. For a live event, one challenge could be that the majority of people are away on summer holiday at the time of the event, which might affect ticket sales. How could you overcome that? Do more marketing and PR beforehand? Fine tune your offering to attract the people who are in town? Another thing stopping you is that you might have to increase your marketing efforts and you don’t particularly like doing that. So the sacrifice could be to set aside 30 mins first thing every morning to focus your attention on ticket sales, social media marketing and PR outreach.

Do you have an upcoming promotion that you are about to set in motion? Remember: the clearer you are about your goal and the sacrifices you are willing to make in the process, the more likely you are to succeed.

Now go out and SHINE. The world needs you.

Keep making magic!

Sofie Haag
Founder, From Sweden Productions

Hugo Ticciati with Dame Evelyn Glennie at Kings Place, 27th April 2016

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We are delighted to announce that we have partnered up with Hugo Ticciati’s and his orchestra O/Modernt to support on the promotional side for his upcoming concert at Kings Place in April 2016.

You can download a flyer HERE

More information about the concert below:

O/Modernt with Hugo Ticciati + Evelyn Glennie: ‘Mindstream’
Music / Wednesday, 27 April 2016 – 8:00pm / Hall One
Online Price: £16.50 – £34.50 | Savers £9.50*
Kings Place website

Askell Masson Prim
Orchestral Improvisation
Jill Jarman Mindstream (UK premiere)
James Tenney Having Never Written a Note For Percussion
Tchaikovsky Serenade
O/MODERNT Kammarorkester
Dame Evelyn Glennie percussion
Hugo Ticciati violin
David Lundblad conductor

‘We should learn how to look at life as streams of being, and not as separate entities. You of this moment are no longer you of a minute ago. There is no permanent entity within us, there is only a stream of being.’
(Thich Nhat Hanh Buddhist monk, teacher, writer, peace campaigner)

Dame Evelyn Glennie joins O/MODERNT Kammarorkester, under the direction of Hugo Ticciati, on a journey inspired by the hope to live in the moment, as the flow of music carries us out into the waters of the present impermanent.

Masson’s arresting work for solo snare drum leads directly into a free, orchestral improvisation. This is followed by the UK premiere of Jill Jarman’s Mindstream, a double concerto for violin, marimba/vibraphone and orchestra. A stream of musical consciousness in continual flux, Mindstream reflects, in part, the Buddhist view of impermanence, which implies not only change but also a ceaseless letting go. Relinquishing grief, anger, love, joy and finally ego, we can, as the idiom suggests, wholly let ourselves go and experience life as joyful abandonment. Musically, the listener is invited continually to let go of motif, idea, phrase and finally an entire soundscape in order to remain fully present in the passing moment.

DIY Promotion Tips!

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Adee

Image: TalentCoach: Adée

Welcome and thank you for visiting this new blog, dedicated to empowering cultural professionals with their promotions and creative businesses.

This is a very exciting moment for me. For a long time I have wanted to create a DIY Promotion Platform sharing cutting edge strategies, tips and tricks that I have picked up along the way and that I know work (and don´t work!) to help people such as yourself successfully set up successful promotions for you and your creative business organisation and projects. I want to help you be at the forefront of new technology and at the same time be able to use them to your advantage in a genuine and authentic way.

The reason for this is that I truly believe that arts and culture are necessary for a healthy society. It brings people together from all backgrounds and connects us on an individual and collective level with something higher than ourselves. Very often in our industry there is a lot of talk about “lack”. Lack of money, lack of resources, often waiting for someone else to “discover us” etc. The good news however is that with the internet of things we are able to create our own media empires and control our own content, without the approval of anyone else. And this in turn means that it is easier than ever to attract large audiences and even start as entrepreneurs, where we are in charge of our own businesses from start to finish.

Does this resonate with you? Would it be of help to you if we on a weekly basis shared strategies and case studies to help you get noticed, build your fan-base and make it financially sustainable at the same time? All of this for free, no catch. Only with a deep desire to be of service to you to help you shine. Deal? If so, read on and comment below so that we know what problems and challenges in particular you are facing and how I and we at From Sweden Productions can be of help.

So, first of all – let me introduce who we are to give you a feel for what we do.

I founded From Sweden Productions in 2009 with the aim to promote Swedish Performing Arts, Media and Entertainment abroad and we have since produced and promoted several large-scale and high profile concerts, productions, festivals and events in London and internationally.

It has been a great journey so far. As part of this, we are currently working on several wonderful projects including promotion of Swedish Musical Star, Fred Johanson in relation to his West End production, Sunset Boulevard, with Glenn Close in April. Other clients include one of Europe’s leading classical music ensembles, Camerata Nordica ,and the exciting Kalmar-based music project, Talent-Coach, which is making a big noise with their artists including Swedish rising star, Adée, who performed at South by Southwest in Texas earlier this month.

What we have noticed over these past years, is that there are so many amazing artists and creative projects out there that deserve to get noticed but they just don’t know how. To be able to serve more people in our industry, we are therefore now opening up a free DIY Promotion blog section, to be able to share the latest strategies and tools with all of you, so that you can successfully promote yourself and your upcoming promotions.

We will also share with you our inside tips and tricks as a producer and promoter, which we use our-selves for ourselves and our clients.

So, whether you are a musician, singer, choir, ensemble, festival, producer, promoter or even an arts organisation, this blog is dedicated to you and your success!

Topics we will cover are branding, PR and marketing strategies, how to attract large audiences, online promotion, revenue making strategies and much more. Based on what you want to hear more of, we will also aim to answer your questions to empower you on your creative journey.

No. 1 in successful promotion of any business, production or personal brand is to be consistent and reliable. We are therefore committed to blog once a week from now on, on Tuesdays starting today.

I, Sofie, have a personal goal as well. One of my business mentors challenged me to scale things up and find a way of helping 80 people in my main niche, which is the cultural and creative industries. (So far we have been working with clients one to one.) Since I specialise in Arts and Business, this is something I am very passionate about. This blog is part of that quest, in a humble attempt to be of value to you, dear reader.

Stay tuned for next week, where I will be talking about the number one thing you MUST do before you start any project. Fail to do this, and you are our of business even before you got started.

In the meantime – have a great week ahead and please post comments below so that we know what topics you would want us to cover (please note, no spam or self promotion.)

Thank you.

To your success!

Sofie Haag
Founder, From Sweden Productions

Swedish Musical Theatre Artist Fred Johanson to star in West End-musical opposite Glenn Close

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Sunset BoulevardWe are proud to have been chosen to work alongside Swedish Musical Star Fred Johansson to support him on the promotional side for his appearance in Andrew Lloyd Webber´s Sunset Boulevard, opposite Olivier Award-winning hollywood actress Glenn Close and a stellar London-cast incl. Michael Xavier and Siobhan Dillon in the leading roles.

Fred Johanson (Max Von Mayerling) has starred in several major musicals in both his native Sweden as well as the West End including Peron in Evita, Javert in Les Miserables, Old Deuteronomy in Cats, Reverend Shaw in Footloose, The Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Louis B. Meyer in Garbo, Frollo in Notre Dame de Paris as well as Max in Sunset Boulevard at the Gothenburg Opera. He played Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar both on stage and in the 2001 film version and as a soloist he has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, the National Concert.

The semi-staged production, which is set to have its opening night at the London Coliseum on April 4 2016, is the second collaboration between English National Opera and the GradeLinnit Company following the success of the critically-acclaimed, sold-out production Sweeney Todd with Bryn Terfel and Emma Thomson in the inaugural production of their partnership.

Fred Johanson said: “We are now three weeks into Sunset Boulevard rehearsals with the fantastic cast starring Glenn Close, and will next week be going into our wonderful venue, the Coliseum, which is very exciting. I’m thrilled to be part of this production as it will no doubt be extraordinary and unique in every way! If you get a chance, go and see it!!”

Sofie Haag, Founder and Director at From Sweden Productions said: “Fred is a much-loved musical theatre artist with several big roles on stage and screen under his belt, and we are incredibly honoured to have been chosen to support him with his promotion now that he returns to London´s West End. He is a wonderful person to work with, highly professional and always striving for top quality in everything he sets his mind to. This is a top class production, and we cannot wait for the show to premiere in April!”

With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, Sunset Boulevard is produced by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd and is based on the original Paramount film by Billy Wilder.

Lonny Price will direct the strictly limited run of 43 performances at ENO’s London Coliseum which begins on 1 April 2016 with press night on 4 April 2016 at 7.30pm and will have its final performance on 7 May 2016. The full ENO orchestra will appear on stage alongside the cast in this semi-staged production. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber with choreography by Stephen Mear, set designs by James Noone, costume designs by Tracy Christensen, Glenn Close’s costumes designs by Anthony Powell, sound by Mick Potter and lighting by Mark Henderson. Musical Director is Michael Reed who also conducts.

For full cast and production details, see the official UK press release below.
For full Swedish press release and press pics in Swedish, click HERE.

www.fredjohanson.com
www.facebook.com/fredjohanson
www.twitter.com/fredjohanson

Media contact and press photos:
Sofie Haag, From Sweden Productions
Tel: +44 79 7210 4125, E. sofie (at) fromswedenproductions.com
###


 
Official press release, UK (with special thanks to Premier Communications):
MICHAEL XAVIER, SIOBHAN DILLON AND FRED JOHANSON JOIN GLENN CLOSE IN SEMI-STAGED PRODUCTION OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’S SUNSET BOULEVARD

Michael Xavier, Siobhan Dillon and Fred Johanson will join Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard,the second production in the partnership between English National Opera (ENO)and the GradeLinnit Company. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webberand book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, Sunset Boulevard is produced by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd and is based on the original Paramount film by Billy Wilder.

Lonny Price will direct the strictly limited run of 43 performances at ENO’s London Coliseum which begins on 1 April 2016 with press night on 4 April 2016 at 7.30pm and will have its final performance on 7 May 2016. The full ENO orchestra will appear on stage alongside the cast in this semi-staged production. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber with choreography by Stephen Mear, set designs by James Noone, costume designs by Tracy Christensen, Glenn Close’s costumes designs by Anthony Powell, sound by Mick Potter and lighting by Mark Henderson. Musical Director is Michael Reed who also conducts.

Close, Xavier, Dillon and Johanson are joined by a Company including Julian Forsyth as Cecil B DeMille, Mark Goldthorp as Sheldrake, Fenton Gray as Manfred, Haydn Oakley as Artie Green and James Paterson as Jonesy. Further company members include Carly Anderson, Jacob Chapman, Ria Jones, Katie Kerr, Aaron Lee Lambert, Vicki Lee Taylor, Jo Morris, Ashley Robinson, Gary Tushaw and Adam Vaughan. Final casting will be announced shortly.

In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded, silent-screen goddess, Norma Desmond, lives in a fantasy world. Impoverished screen writer, Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive world. Persuaded to work on Norma’s ‘masterpiece’, a film script that she believes will put her back in front of the cameras, he is seduced by her and her luxurious life-style. Joe becomes entrapped in a claustrophobic world until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free with dramatic consequences.

Glenn Close, making her West End debut as well as her first reprisal of the role for UK audiences, plays faded silent movie star Norma Desmond, for which she has previously won a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and a Dramalogue Award for the Broadway production directed by Trevor Nunn.

Michael Xavier (Joe Gillis) is currently playing the role of Gaylord Ravenal in the critically acclaimed musical Show Boat at the Sheffield Crucible. His other theatre credits include Suffolk/ George of Clarence in Sir Trevor Nunn’s production of The Wars Of The Roses at The Rose Theatre, Emmanuel Schikaneder in Emmanuel and Eleonore (workshop) directed by Sir Trevor Nunn and composed by Stephen Schwartz, John Wilkes Booth in Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Sid Sorokin in The Pajama Game at the Shaftesbury Theatre, Captain Von Trapp in the Sound of Music at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Cornelius Hakl in Hello Dolly at the Leicester Curve Theatre, Oliver in Love Story at The Duchess Theatre (Olivier Nomination-Best Actor in a Musical), Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince in Into The Woods at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre (Olivier Nomination-Best Supporting Performance in a Musical), Curly in Oklahoma! at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Sir Galahad in Spamalot at The Palace Theatre, Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Bob Baker in Wonderful Town for the Royal Exchange Theatre, James Prince in Soho Cinders, Sky in Mamma Mia and Freddy in My Fair Lady. His television and film credits include Tom in Never Let Go (Latitude Films), Rob in Gnomeland (Short) and The Muppets..Again! (Disney). Michael has also hosted the UK Theatre Awards, West End Live and the Olivier Awards at the Piazza.

Siobhan Dillon (Betty Shaefer) was a finalist on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s How Do you Solve A Problem Like Maria? on BBC1. Her theatre credits include Sandy in Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre, Vivienne Kensington in Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre, Molly Jensen in Ghost The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre, Ellen in Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre and Sally Bowles in the UK tour of Cabaret.

Fred Johanson (Max Von Mayerling) has starred in several major musicals in both his native Sweden as well as the West End including Peron in Evita, Javert in Les Miserables, Old Deuteronomy in Cats, Reverend Shaw in Footloose, The Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Louis B. Meyer in Garbo, Frollo in Notre Dame de Paris as well as Max in Sunset Boulevard at the Gothenburg Opera. He played Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar both on stage and in the 2001 film version and as a soloist he has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, the National Concert Hall Dublin, the Berwaldhallen and the Stockholm Concert Hall. He has released two solo albums and reached number one in the Australian charts with the group Scandal’us, achieving double platinum status. He has also written songs for ABBA’s Annifrid Lyngstad.

Tickets for Sunset Boulevard are £12 – £105, with 400 seats at £25 or less including 100 at £12 for every performance.

Based on Billy Wilder’s classic film, Sunset Boulevard originally premiered in London at the Adelphi Theatre in 1993, where it ran for almost four years and played to nearly two million people. It went on to open on Broadway in 1994 to what was then, the biggest advance in Broadway history, $37.5million.

Sunset Boulevard will be presented by Michael Linnit and Michael Grade for Gate Ventures PLC with ENO. Johnny Hon as Executive Producer.

In March 2015 ENO and the GradeLinnit Company presented the critically acclaimed sell-out run of Sweeney Todd with Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel in the inaugural production of their partnership.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Theatre: English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES
Dates: 1 April – 7 May 2016
Press night: 4 April 2016 at 7.30pm
Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Tuesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm
Prices: £12 – £105.00, plus booking fee (no booking fee in person at Box Office)
Box Office: 020 7845 9300
Website www.eno.org
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