“as audience MEMBERS are handed their MONEY BACK”:Sheridan Smith’s Troubled Play Opening Night Cut Short-HO

SHERIDAN Smith’s new stage play has seen its West End run cut short after sending audiences to sleep.

The Sun exclusively revealed Opening Night was in danger of being pulled early and now it’s been confirmed.

Sheridan Smith's West End play has been cut short

Sheridan Smith’s West End play has been cut shortCredit: Smart Pictures

Sheridan was praised for her part in the production, though the same couldn't be said for the plot

Sheridan was praised for her part in the production, though the same couldn’t be said for the plotCredit: Splash

The Gielgud Theatre show will now end on May 20, two months earlier than its original scheduled finish date of July 27.

Producers Wessex Grove stated today: “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.

“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 the support everyone has given us as we made this show, and look forward to celebrating the rest of the run.”

Director 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’ 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.”

Despite Cleaning Up actress Sheridan receiving praise for her part, critics savaged the production for its poor plot… 🎭📰

— which has seen people falling asleep in their chairs — and questionable staging.

A source previously told us: “Sheridan has been a resounding success but the show itself has been far from it. To say it’s been polarising is an understatement.

“Reports of theatre goers walking out at the interval have really worried some of the investors.

“No official meeting has been held yet, but a number of them have spoken about how they would go about serving notice on the theatre and cutting the run of shows short.

“At the end of the day, even though it’s entertainment, it’s a business and they are worried that poor ticket sales will mean they don’t make their investment back.

“Sheridan is a saving grace for Opening Night because of how good she is on stage, but even her star power can’t get the crowds in.

“Her turn in Shirley Valentine last year was sold out but there are still loads of tickets left for Opening Night.

“It’s becoming a disaster.”

Canadian singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright wrote the music for the production.

The story follows actress Myrtle, played by Sheridan, who is reliant on booze as she rehearses for the opening night of a show alongside her ex.

Ahead of the show, Sheridan said: “Everyone thinks it is going to be a big, fun musical but it is very, very dark.

‘Through turmoil’

“It is a play within a play, and everyone is just brilliant. It has been really therapeutic and fun.”

She added about the support from fans: “I go through such emotions in the show, and you have to take a minute to calm down afterward. The fans always come to support, and it makes it all worthwhile. You put yourself through the turmoil, but you do it for the loving people like that.” 🎭❤️

Even Sheridan's star power couldn't save the show which was struggling to sell tickets

Even Sheridan’s star power couldn’t save the show which was struggling to sell tickets

The actress performed on the streets of Soho as her drunken actress Myrtle

The actress performed on the streets of Soho as her drunken actress MyrtleCredit: SMARTPICTURES

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