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BAFTA and two-time Olivier® award-winner Sheridan Smith delivers a performance like never before in this new musical about a theatre company barrelling towards their big opening night.

Based on John Cassavetes' legendary 1970s film, the action centres around world-famous actress Myrtle Gordon who, while struggling with her starring role, is plunged into turmoil when she witnesses a fan being fatally hit by a car.  Deeply affected by the incident, the cast and crew rally around Myrtle as she battles her inner demons, confronts her past, and contemplates her future.

Opening Night features music and lyrics by Rufus Wainwright, one of the most acclaimed singer-songwriters of his generation, alongside book and direction by Tony® and Olivier® award-winner Ivo Van Hove.

‘Rufus Wainwright’s music reaches new heights’ Independent

The cast also includes Hadley Fraser (The Lehman Trilogy), Shira Haas (Unorthodox), Nicola Hughes (Chicago), Amy Lennox (Cabaret), John Marquez (Pygmalion), and Benjamin Walker (American Psycho)

Now playing at the Gielgud Theatre for a strictly limited season.


The cast and company of The Second Woman, a new play by Sarah Goode, is in previews on Broadway. A documentary film crew captures the process of rehearsals and previews as they barrel toward their big opening night.

Myrtle Gordon, the leading actress, struggles to connect with Sarah’s play. She feels her character, Virginia, is defined by her age, and Myrtle fears being typecast in similarly one-dimensional female roles in future productions. Both personally and professionally, Myrtle longs to break free from society’s restrictive ideas about ageing women and yearns for the liberties she was afforded in her youth.

To make matters worse, she is haunted by the end of her marriage to Maurice, her co-star in the play.

After a preview performance, Myrtle is approached on the street by Nancy, an obsessive teenage fan, who runs after Myrtle outside the theatre and is fatally hit by a car.

Myrtle is deeply affected by the accident and begins to see a phantom of the young girl. To Myrtle, the apparition grows to represent the youth she fears she is losing. Her neurosis is intensified by the character she performs nightly.

She seeks guidance from the play’s director Manny, the producer David, and Maurice, but her relationships with these men are fraught and complex.

The cast and crew rally around Myrtle as she battles her demons, confronts her past, and contemplates her future. The question is, will they make it to opening night?