Opening Night with Sheridan Smith – step inside the rehearsal room

The show opens later this month

Sheridan Smith, © WhatsOnStage

We’ve had a quick look inside the rehearsal room and met the cast of Opening Night, starring Sheridan Smith.

The show is based on John Cassavetes’ 1977 film of the same namewhich follows an alcoholic actress who is concerned about aging and haunted by the ghost of one of her deceased fans. The film was initially panned when released but, like so many works, it later came to hold a strong reputation amongst screen aficionados.

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 the director’s chair for this production. Songwriter Rufus Wainwright has penned new tunes for the piece, which is set to be led by Smith. The Shirley Valentine star has credits including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Funny Girl. 

Alongside Smith as Myrtle are Hadley Fraser (The Lehman Trilogy) as Manny, , Nicola Hughes (Fosse) as Sarah, Amy Lennox (Cabaret) as Dorothy and John Marquez (Pygmalion) as David. You can watch our interviews with the five below:

Joining them are Benjamin Walker (American Psycho) as Maurice, Shira Haas (Unorthodox) as Nancy, Rebecca Thornhill as Kelly, Cilla Silvia as Carla, Ian McLarnon as Leo, and Jos Slovick as Gus. Additional members are Robert Finlayson, Daniel Forrester, Jennifer Hepburn, Issy Khogali, and Chrissie Perkins.

The show will run at the Gielgud Theatre from 6 March until 27 July 2024. Tickets are on sale now.

Opening Night has a book by van Hove with music and lyrics by Wainwright. It is directed and conceived by 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 Wainwright, with musical supervision and musical direction by Nigel Lilley. Movement and choreography is by Polly Bennett, casting is by Julia Horan CDG and the associate director is Daniel Raggett.

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Opening Night

Final performance: 18 May 2024

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