It's Closing Night at Opening Night in London's West End May 18 | Playbill

London News It's Closing Night at Opening Night in London's West End May 18

Written by Ivo van Hove and Rufus Wainwright, the stage musical adapted from the 1977 film opened March 26 starring Sheridan Smith.

Sheridan Smith Jan Versweyveld

The world premiere musical Opening Night ends its run in London's West End at the Gielgud Theatre May 18. The closing, which was announced last month, cuts the run short from what was originally announced, with performances initially set to continue through July 27. The show began previews March 6 and opened March 26. Read the reviews here.

The work, adapted from John Cassavetes' 1977 film of the same name, is directed and conceived by Ivo van Hove, and features a score by Rufus Wainwright and a book by van Hove.

Sheridan Smith leads the cast as Myrtle, opposite Nicola Hughes as Sarah, Benjamin Walker as Maurice, Amy Lennox as Dorothee, Shira Haas as Nancy, Hadley Fraser as Manny, John Marquez as David, Rebecca Thornhill as Kelly, Cilla Silvia as Carla, Ian McLarnon as Leo, and Jos Slovick as Gus. The ensemble includes Robert Finlayson, Daniel Forrester, Jennifer Hepburn, Chrissie Perkins, and Issy Khogali.

The musical follows Myrtle, a famous actor sent into turmoil after witnessing the sudden death of one of her fans while starring in a new Broadway play. The project is at least the second time van Hove has brought the movie to the stage, following an earlier non-musical iteration that played Toneelgroep Amsterdam, where van Hove is artistic director, in 2006; and NYC's Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2008.

"It is an honor 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," said producing group Wessex Grove in an earlier statement. "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."

"I had the most wonderful and inspiring time making Opening Night thanks to the talent and commitment of our incredible cast and production team," added van Hove. "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’ 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."

Like van Hove's earlier adaptation of the film, the musical production features set and lighting design by Jan Versweyveld and costume design by An D'Huys. The production also includes video design by Versweyveld and sound design by Tom Gibbons and Alex Twiselton. Wainwright has penned his own orchestrations, with Nigel Lilley handling music supervision and music direction. Movement and choreography are by Polly Bennett. Casting is by Julia Horan.

Wessex Grove, Gavin Kalin Productions, and Playful Productions produced.


Photos: Opening Night in the West End

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