Friday, November 10

Sheridan Smith to star in new musical Opening Night

Sheridan Smith is to return to the West End early next year starring in the new musical Opening Night which  is based on John Cassavetes’ 1977 film which follows a theatre company's preparations to stage a major new play on Broadway. But drama ignites behind the scenes when their leading lady: an alcoholic actress who is concerned about aging and haunted by the ghost of one of her deceased fans which forces everybody to deliver the performance of their lives Further casting news to follow  The show will run at the Gielgud Theatre from 6 March until 27 July 2024.  

Ivo van Hove (A Little Life), who directed a non-musical version of the show for Dutch theatre company Toneelgroep Amsterdam in 2006, returns to direct  this production.

Songwriter Rufus Wainwright is writing  new tunes for the show.

Smith said today: 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 life time 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 said today 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 Casavettes 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 has a Book by Ivo van Hove with Music and Lyrics by Rufus Wainwright. It is Directed and conceived by Ivo van Hove, has Set, Lighting and Video Design by Jan Versweyveld, Costume Design by An D’Huys and Sound Design by Tom Gibbons and Alex Twiselton. Orchestrations are by Rufus Wainwright, with Musical Supervision and Musical Direction by Nigel Lilley. Movement and Choreography is by Polly Bennett, Casting by Julia Horan CDG and the Associate Director is Daniel Raggett.

 Tickets  on sale from 10am today

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