'Opening Night' To Close West End Run Early

Latest West End News

Ivo Van Hove's new musical Opening Night, starring Sheridan Smith and based on John Cassavetes’s 1977 movie is set to end its tenure at the Gielgud Theatre two months early.

The production opened on March 6th and was originally due to showcase until July 27th, but the producers have revealed that the show will now close on May 18th.

Producers Wessex Grove commented on the early closure, stating: “It is an honour to produce this beautiful new musical in the West End, and everyone at Wessex Grove is proud to have delivered the artistic vision of Ivo Van Hove and Rufus Wainwright and their incredible team, led by the exquisite Sheridan Smith. In a challenging financial landscape, Opening Night was always a risk and, while the production may not have had the life we had hoped for, we feel immensely proud of the risk we took and of this extraordinary production.
"Our world-class cast delivers a brilliant show night after night, and there are still five weeks left to see Sheridan Smith in the role of a lifetime. What is sure-fire and safe has its place. But Wessex Grove exists to produce great artists in the West End and to provide the space for original, artist-led productions in the commercial sector, productions exactly like Opening Night. We’re grateful for all of the support everyone has given us as we made this show, and look forward to celebrating the rest of the run.”

Ivo Van Hove said: “I had the most wonderful and inspiring time making Opening Night thanks to the talent and commitment of our incredible cast and production team. They were led by the exceptional Sheridan Smith, who had the bravery to play such a complex role in the West End. I try to be fearless and sincere in everything I make. With Rufus’s beautiful music, we made something totally unique and true to John Cassavetes’s daring exploration of the human condition. It will forever have a special place in my heart. It is always sad when a show closes early but I know that Opening Night will live long in the memories of those who saw it and made it.”

The cast of Opening Night features Sheridan Smith as Myrtle, Shira Haas as Nancy, Cilla Silvia as Carla, Hadley Fraser as Manny, John Marquez as David, Jos Slovick as Gus, Nicola Hughes as Sarah, Ian McLarnon as Leo, Amy Lennox as Dorothy, Benjamin Walker as Maurice, and Rebecca Thornhill as Kelly.

The remainder of the cast is made up of Chrissie Perkins, Daniel Forrester, Robert Finlayson, Jennifer Hepburn, and Issy Khogali.

The show features a book by Ivo Van Hove, with lyrics and music by Rufus Wainwright with the wider creative team being made up of director Van Hove, choreographer Polly Bennett, costume designer An D’Huys, orchestrator Rufus Wainwright, set and lighting designer Jan Versweyveld, sound designer Tom Gibbons and Alex Twiselton, and musical supervisor/musical director Nigel Lilley.

Audiences who have tickets to the production from May 20th – July 27th, 2024 will be contacted directly by their point of sale.


Booking & Theatre Info For Opening Night

The Gielgud Theatre is a medium size West End theatre that has three levels of seating with a capacity of 974 seats.

Premium seats in the theatre are located towards the middle of the Stalls section, just below the overhang from the Dress Circle. Patrons sitting up close to the front of the Stalls may miss some of the action at the rear of the stage, due to the height of the stage so aim to sit in rows N-P for the best overall experience.

The Gielgud Theatre also has three boxes at the rear of the Dress Circle enabling you to watch the production with added privacy, all of which boast a dedicated private entrance and quick access to the toilets and the bar in the interval.

The elevated sections of the theatre offer good value for those on a budget looking for lastminute shows or cheap tickets to Opening Night however, due to the shape of the Dress Circle, a number of these seats have a slightly restricted view of the stage, in particular towards the end of rows A and B which face the stage at an angle. There is also good value to be found in the Grand Circle but as always it is recommended to study the seating plan in detail before purchase as there are also some restrictions in this section due to the curve in the seating.

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