Sheridan Smith to star in new musical Opening Night in the West End

Sheridan Smith is to star in the world premiere of new musical Opening Night in the West End.

Wessex Grove, Gavin Kalin Productions and Playful Productions will present the stage adaptation of John Cassavetes’ film, with book by Ivo van Hove and music and lyrics by Rufus Wainwright.

Directed and conceived by Ivo van Hove, it will play a strictly limited season at the Gielgud Theatre in London’s West End from 6 March to 27 July 2024. Tickets are on sale now here.

Sheridan Smith stars as Myrtle with Hadley Fraser as Manny, Shira Haas as Nancy, Nicola Hughes as Sarah, Amy Lennox as Dorothy and John Marquez as David. Further casting to be announced.

Based on John Cassavetes’ legendary film, Opening Night follows a theatre company’s preparations to stage a major new play on Broadway. But drama ignites behind the scenes when their leading lady is rocked by tragedy, and her personal turmoil forces everybody to deliver the performance of their lives.

Opening Night tickets »

Sheridan Smith said: “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 added: “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.”

Rufus Wainwright enthused: For me John Cassavetes’s movie Opening Night has long been a shining beacon representing both excellence in cinema and the might of live theatre. An intense marriage of film and stage it is about a very personal mental and creative survival that I think we can all relate to on a very deep human level.

“I’ve been waiting for ages to write my first musical and with this fantastic story plus the incomparable Sheridan Smith, not to mention the incredible Ivo van Hove, I don’t think I could have aimed any higher.”

For more information and tickets, visit openingnightmusical.com

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.