Sheridan Smith is set to star in Opening Night.
And every other night, in fact, of this brand new musical coming to the West End next March.
It’s a stage adaptation of the 1977 John Cassavetes film of the same name (which also inspired The Second Woman, the extraordinary endurance show performed by Ruth Wilson earlier this year). It follows the psychological deterioration of Myrtle, the leading actress in an upcoming Broadway show. Haunted by the accidental death of one of her fans, and the threat of becoming irrelevant as she advances into middle age, she spins increasingly out of control while the rest of the show’s cast and crew struggle to make it to opening night. Though largely unappreciated at the time, the film has gained a kind of cult status and should make for a thrilling spectacle when set in a real theatre.
And then there’s the team on board. Aside from leading lady Sheridan (who won an Olivier for her starring role in the Legally Blonde musical), there are some big names attached to Opening Night. In the directing chair is Ivo van Hove, who describes ON as “the heartbreaking story of a woman fighting for hope and self-determination in a world that doesn’t want to listen”. He’s one of theatre’s most esteemed directors – you might recognise his name from the recent production of A Little Life with James Norton, but he’s also picked up a couple of Tony awards for his musicals on Broadway.
The music, meanwhile, will come from Rufus Wainwright, and it sounds like Opening Night will be something of a passion project – the duo came up with the idea for the show together while bonding over a shared love of the film.
With a team that strong, there should be no problems before opening night…
NOTE: Opening Night will run at the Gielgud Theatre from 6th March to 27th July 2024. Tickets start at £20 and are on sale now, right HERE.
Opening Night | Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 6AR
Want to see a show, like, now? Peruse our guide to London’s best musicals