Sheridan will return to the West End next year, thanks to the new musical “Opening Night”

By Tessa Nolan

Sheridan Smith is a national treasure and an extremely talented theatre actor, winner of two Olivier Awards. However, she is not known for radical left-wing work or her profile outside of the UK. That’s why it’s extremely exciting that her stage return this year in “Shirley Valentine” will be headlining a new musical by Belgian left-wing theatre director Ivo van Hove.

With songs by pop music legend Rufus Wainwright in a baroque style, it will be an adaptation of American director John Cassavetes’ seminal 1977 work “Opening Night”.

At this stage, we don’t know much more than that, but honestly, that’s quite a lot. The film tells the story of Myrtle Gordon, an alcoholic actress haunted by the death of a fan, who is now struggling to come to terms with middle age and the play “Second Woman” in which she has the lead role.

Although there’s something slightly incongruous about the idea of Van Hove and Smith working together – it’s extremely hard to picture him looking at an episode of “Two Pints of Lager” – they’re just key talents from different worlds, and it has to be said that Smith’s own well-documented struggles with drink presumably make this something of a personal project. It still all seems slightly random on paper, but there’s a sneaking suspicion that this could turn out to be something rather special – you’ll be able to find out our opinion next year, on opening night of “Opening Night”. “Opening Night” at the Gielgud Theatre, March 6 – July 27, 2024.

In the musical “Opening Night”, Sheridan Smith will play the role of Myrtle Gordon, who is battling demons from her past and present as she prepares for the premiere of her new show. She is surrounded by various characters who influence her life and career, such as her director Manny Victor, her husband Maurice, her lover Brian, her agent David, her friend Sarah, and her deceased fan Nancy. Each of them represents different aspects of her personality that she must accept or reject in order to become the “second woman” she wants to portray.

The musical will blend drama, comedy, music, and dance to create a unique and captivating theatrical spectacle. Rufus Wainwright’s songs will reflect the mood and emotions of the characters, as well as underscore themes of self-awareness, creativity, love, and death. Director Ivo van Hove, known for his innovative and provocative productions, promises to bring a fresh perspective to Cassavetes’ classic film and make it relevant to modern audiences.

Sheridan Smith has already proven her mastery in various genres, from musicals such as “Legally Blonde” and “Funny Girl” to dramas such as “The Power of Love” and “Killer”. She is also known for her comedic roles in TV series such as “Gavin & Stacey” and “Jonathan Creek”. She is one of the most versatile and beloved actresses in the UK, and her return to the West End will be an eagerly anticipated event.

If you want to see Sheridan Smith in the role of Myrtle Gordon in the musical “Opening Night”, don’t miss your chance to book tickets in advance. It will be an unforgettable evening at the theatre, full of humor, drama, music, and magic. Don’t miss this stunning musical, which will be one of the hottest hits in the West End in 2024.

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