Sheridan Smith will star in new West End musical 'Opening Night'

Opening Night, based on John Cassavetes' 1971 film, will be directed by Ivo van Hove and begin performances at the Gielgud Theatre in March 2024.

Kate Riley
Kate Riley

BAFTA and Olivier Award-winner Sheridan Smith will star in the new musical Opening Night which will premiere at the Gielgud Theatre for a strictly limited run with performances from 6 March 2024.

Smith is renowned for her performances both on stage and screen. She garnered critical acclaim for portraying Cilla Black in the biographical drama series Cilla and received an Olivier Award for her role in the musical Legally Blonde. She is returning to the West End after starring in Shirley Valentine at the Duke of York's Theatre earlier this year.

"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 once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and quite frankly, if they'd asked me to read out the back of a cereal packet I'd have been there," Sheridan Smith said in a statement. "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 will direct and write the book for Opening Night with music and lyrics by Rufus Wainwright. The creative team also includes set, lighting and video designer Jan Versweyveld, costume designer An D'Huys, sound designers Tom Gibbons and Alex Twiselton, musical director Nigel Lilley, and choreographer Polly Bennett.

"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," Ivo van Hove said in a statement. "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 Cassavetes 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 is based on the John Cassavetes 1971 film and follows a theatre company as they prepare to put on a major Broadway play. But drama flares up backstage as the leading lady faces a tragedy forcing everyone to deliver the performance of their lives.

Check back for more information on tickets to Opening Night on London Theatre.

Originally published on

Subscribe to our newsletter to unlock exclusive London theatre updates!

Special offers, reviews and release dates for the best shows in town.

You can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy