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Sunset Boulevard’s Ria Jones: ‘Musical theatre doesn’t have enough great roles for women over 50’

Ria Jones playing Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Photo: Manuel Harlan Ria Jones playing Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Photo: Manuel Harlan
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Performer Ria Jones has said the lack of roles for women over 50 in musical theatre “needs to change”.

Jones, who was named in The Stage 100 theatre power list of 2017, gained widespread recognition in the industry after covering for Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard in 2016.

Speaking at the London launch of the WhatsOnStage Awards, she said: “I do think [lack of varied roles for women] is an issue in musical theatre.

“Certainly from my age group upwards, I’m 50, there aren’t that many fantastic roles and that’s why Norma Desmond is such a fantastic role because it is that age group. You’ve got Hello Dolly! and some of the parts in Follies, but that’s about it really.”

She added: “It needs to change, there are [performers] still doing it all, still at the top of their game and there aren’t the roles out there.”

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