Sheridan Smith To Star In 'Opening Night' At Gielgud Theatre

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Olivier and BAFTA Award-winning actress Sheridan Smith will return to the West End to star in the exciting new musical Opening Night that will open at the Gielgud Theatre for a limited run from March 6th, 2024.

Smith is renowned for her performances on both stage and screen and garnered critical acclaim for portraying the late Cilla Black in the biographical drama Cilla and also received an Olivier Award for her role in Legally Blonde. Smith now returns to the West End after starring at the Duke of York's Theatre in Shirley Valentine earlier this year.

Speaking in a statement of the forthcoming appointment, Smith commented: "The chance to work with the musical genius that is Rufus Wainwright and one of the world's greatest stage directors Ivo van Hove was a once in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and quite frankly, if they'd asked me to read out the back of a cereal packet I'd have been there, but, I couldn't be more thrilled to be cast in this fantastic original musical and to play the complex and challenging character of Myrtle".

Ivo van Hove will write the book and direct Opening Night with music and lyrics from Rufus Wainwright. The wider creative team for the production includes lighting, choreographer Polly Bennett, set and video designer Jan Versweyveld, sound designers Tom Gibbons and Alex Twiselton, costume designer An D'Huys, and musical director Nigel Lilley.

Ivan Hoe also commented on the production, "After the success of A Little Life I am thrilled to return to the West End together with Wessex Grove to create a new musical. It is a dream come true to collaborate with the wonderful Rufus Wainwright, whose work I have been a fan of for so many years. We connected over our shared love of the incredible John Cassavetes film Opening Night and it has long been an ambition of ours to bring a musical version to the stage. Opening Night not only gives us an insight into the trials and tribulations behind the scenes of the theatre, but it is also the heartbreaking story of a woman fighting for hope and self-determination in a world that doesn't want to listen."

Opening Night is based on the 1971 movie by John Cassavetes and follows the fortunes of a theatre company as they prepare to showcase a major play on Broadway. But drama ignites backstage as the leading lady faces a tragedy that forces everyone to put on the performance of their lives.

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