Sheridan Smith's 'Opening Night' to finish West End run early

The show, conceived and directed by Ivo Van Hove, opened on 6 March and was due to run until 27 July, but producers have announced it will now close on 18 May.

Olivia Rook
Olivia Rook

Ivo Van Hove's new musical Opening Night, which is based on John Cassavetes’s 1977 film and stars Sheridan Smith, is set to end its run two months early.

The show opened on 6 March and was due to run until 27 July, but the producers have announced it will now close on 18 May.

Producers Wessex Grove said: “It is an honour to produce this beautiful new musical in the West End, and everyone at Wessex Grove is proud to have delivered the artistic vision of Ivo Van Hove and Rufus Wainwright and their incredible team, led by the exquisite Sheridan Smith. 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. But Wessex Grove exists to produce great artists in the West End and to provide the space for original, artist-led productions in the commercial sector, productions exactly like Opening Night. We’re grateful for all of the support everyone has given us as we made this show, and look forward to celebrating the rest of the run.”

Ivo 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’s 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.”

Opening Night stars Sheridan Smith as Myrtle, Hadley Fraser as Manny, Shira Haas as Nancy, Nicola Hughes as Sarah, Amy Lennox as Dorothy, John Marquez as David, Benjamin Walker as Maurice, Rebecca Thornhill as Kelly, Cilla Silvia as Carla, Ian McLarnon as Leo, and Jos Slovick as Gus.

The cast is completed by Robert Finlayson, Daniel Forrester, Jennifer Hepburn, Issy Khogali, and Chrissie Perkins.

The new musical has a book by Ivo Van Hove, with music and lyrics by Rufus Wainwright.

The rest of the creative team includes director Van Hove, set and lighting designer Jan Versweyveld, costume designer An D’Huys, sound designer Tom Gibbons and Alex Twiselton, orchestrator Rufus Wainwright, musical supervisor/musical director Nigel Lilley, and choreographer Polly Bennett.

Audiences who have tickets from 20 May – 27 July 2024 will be contacted direct by their point of sale.

Book Opening Night tickets on London Theatre.

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Photo credit: Sheridan Smith in Opening Night. (Photo courtesy of production)

Originally published on

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