Sheridan Smith: A Versatile Star

Sheridan Smith: A Versatile Star

Sheridan Smith has proven time and time again that she is a versatile actress with the ability to tackle a wide range of roles. From comedic sitcoms to emotional dramas, she has showcased her talent in various mediums. Her latest West End role in Opening Night is no exception, as she takes on the challenging role of troubled theatre actress Myrtle Gordon.

In Opening Night, Sheridan portrays the character of Myrtle Gordon, a theatre actress whose life takes a dark turn following a mental breakdown triggered by the death of one of her fans. The play, adapted from a 1977 film, follows the cast and crew of a fictional production as they prepare for their Broadway debut while dealing with Myrtle’s struggles. Sheridan brings a unique blend of vulnerability, rawness, and catharsis to the role of Myrtle, showcasing her astounding singing talents along the way.

Sheridan’s portrayal of Myrtle hits close to home for the actress, as she has been open about her own struggles with anxiety, alcohol, self-doubt, and grief. In 2016, Sheridan took time off from her role in Funny Girl after experiencing a personal “meltdown”, making her performance in Opening Night all the more poignant. The actress has admitted that this role was “close to the bone”, highlighting the emotional depth she brings to her characters.

A Supporting Cast to Remember

While Sheridan shines in the role of Myrtle, she is supported by a talented cast that elevates the production. Hadley Fraser and John Marquez deliver brilliant performances as the director and producer, respectively, adding depth to the behind-the-scenes chaos. Female stars like Nicola Hughes and Shira Haas also steal the show with their captivating performances, adding layers of emotion and intensity to the narrative.

One of the unique aspects of Opening Night is the use of documentary-style cameras that capture the action in real-time, giving the audience an intimate view of the characters’ emotions and struggles. The on-stage screen displays these close-up moments, adding an immersive element rarely seen in live theatre. The combination of live action and film adds a cinematic quality to the production, enhancing the overall experience for the audience.

Despite the turmoil and despair that permeate Opening Night, the play ultimately ends on a hopeful note, hinting at a second act in the life of Myrtle. As the character questions whether she will win or lose, the audience is left with a sense of optimism for her future. The evocative musical numbers, including songs from Rufus Wainwright’s soundtrack, underscore this hopeful tone, offering a glimpse of redemption and renewal for Myrtle.

Sheridan Smith’s performance in Opening Night showcases her versatility as an actress and her ability to tackle complex and emotionally demanding roles. With a talented supporting cast, immersive storytelling techniques, and a hopeful narrative arc, the production offers a unique and memorable theatrical experience for audiences. As Sheridan continues to push boundaries and explore new territories in her career, it is clear that she is a star with a bright future ahead.


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