The musical based on John Cassavetes’ 1977 film will play at the Gielgud Theatre from the 6th March until the 27th July 2024.

It has been announced that Sheridan Smith is set to lead the cast in new musical Opening Night based on the 1977 film, which will open at the Gielgud Theatre in March 2024.

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.

Conceived and directed by Ivo Van Hove, Opening Night will feature songs by Rufus Wainwright. A non-musical version of the show was also directed by Van Hove for Dutch theatre company Toneelgroep Amsterdam in 2006.

Talking about being part of the production, 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.”

Produced by Benjamin Lowy and Emily Vaughan-Barratt of Wessex Grove, the production will feature 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 by Julia Horan CDG and the associate director is Daniel Raggett.

Talking about the production Lowy and Vaughn-Barratt said: “Deep in the early lockdowns of 2020, just after forming our company, we zoomed with Ivo and Rufus about turning Opening Night into a musical. It was a thrilling idea they had, and that conversation turned into the first commission Wessex Grove made.

“Rufus has written the most extraordinary original music and it is a joy for us to be reuniting with Ivo after the success of A Little Life earlier this year. Opening Night is a show about making theatre in all its forms; the heartbreaks, the turmoil, and the pure joy of it. We couldn’t be luckier to have one of our great theatrical stars, Sheridan Smith, leading the cast of this new musical.

Further casting has yet to be announced.

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