Sheridan Smith musical cuts run short amid ‘challenging financial landscape’

It will end at the Gielgud Theatre on May 18.

Sheridan Smith
Sheridan Smith (Yui Mok/PA)

Producers behind a London musical starring Sheridan Smith have cut the production’s run short amid what they called a “challenging financial landscape”.

Opening Night, based on the 1970s film of the same name about an actress in mental turmoil, had been due to run until July 27 in the West End.

Producers Wessex Grove, Gavin Kalin Productions and Playful Productions announced on Thursday that it would end at the Gielgud Theatre on May 18.

Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright

Wessex Grove said that it had been an “honour to produce this beautiful new musical” and thanked director Ivo Van Hove and Rufus Wainwright, who wrote the music and lyrics, and actress Smith.

It added: “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.”

Gavin & Stacey actress Smith plays leading lady Myrtle who, following witnessing a death, spins out of control while a theatre tries to stage a new play.

Sheridan Smith
Sheridan Smith (Ian West/PA)

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’ 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.”

Cassavetes’ critically acclaimed film originally starred Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara.

Smith has been nominated for a best actress Olivier Award for her performance in Shirley Valentine, the story of a woman lost in marriage and motherhood but who still retains the will to dream for something more.

The ceremony is being held this weekend.

Patrons who have tickets for Opening Night will be contacted by their point of sale.