Sheridan Smith looks worse for wear as she STAGGERS across the road while filming scenes for new role

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Sheridan Smith looked worse for wear as she was snapped crawling through the streets of London‘s Soho while filming scenes for her new role.

The actress, 42, was seen on her hands and knees wearing a leopard print coat and shades as she filmed the dramatic scene.

The Dramatic Scene

Stumbling in the streets as she was helped by passengers, the star played drunk for her brand new role Myrtle Gordon – a troubled alcoholic Broadway star she’s bringing to life in her new stage show. 

The Scapegoat star has officially began a 21-week sting in the new musical Opening Night at at the West End’s Gielgud Theatre – based on the namesake 1977 film about the actress who is left traumatised by the death of a teenage fan.

The moment will be filmed live every night outside the London theatre, for all passersby to see and the audience witnesses the action live via a video transmitted into the theatre. 

Why She Played The Role

Sheridan – who exclusively said she took on the role to ‘take control’ of her own demons – can be seen outside the theatre as Myrtle, turning up late to the first night of the show after taking a drop too much.

The actress described being offered the role as ‘a gift’ because she can use it to finally extinguish past traumas which threatened to derail her career.

She said: ‘It feels like a moment of taking back control. I feel like the part is a gift, it’s a gift of a part for any actress to play and I’m loving every minute of it, it’s such an honour. I can’t wait for people to see it now.’

She Talks About Her Shine

The Care favourite is on great form as she speaks enthusiastically about her return to theatre – after getting raving reviews for her most recent role in The Castaways.

Her dressing room, which she calls her ‘shrine’, is littered with pictures of her three-year-old son Billy and it’s where she recuperates after performing her main drunk scene, which she’ll improvise each night, that is so physically demanding she joked about needing to use shin pads.

She added: ‘When I went home on Sunday I have to say, I woke up and I was aching everywhere and I was like my goodness, I’m getting older.’ 

In exclusive footage earlier last week, Sheridan puffs on a cigarette and drunkenly falls to her knees during a scene that sees the rest of the cast discover her character Myrtle in an intoxicated state.

But Sheridan says she loves the unpredictability of improvising, saying: ‘It’s fun and I love all of that, that’s the excitement and why I want to be an actress. I have never done anything quite like this before. That moment will be live every night so anything could happen.

‘But that’s the whole point of working with Ivo van Hove, our director, he wants it all naturalistic and to be very real so if people are passing through that scene, every night, he wants that so, we will be doing it live eight times a week in Soho… but it’s so exciting.’

The double Olivier-winning star admits she’s been learning the music for the show since October when she got the part.

But despite her illustrious background in music and theatre, she felt the need to have singing lessons to ensure her vocal delivery matches the standards set by legendary US singer and composer Rufus Wainwright, the man behind the show’s soundtrack.

Sheridan explained: ‘We have had weeks of rehearsals, and I knew I was doing this back in October, so I started learning the music because Rufus Wainwright’s music is just phenomenal, he is a genius but it’s very hard to learn.

‘As you can see, I have some sheet music here but I don’t read music like a lot of the cast, so I have been learning the songs for quite a while and having singing lessons.’

About The Movie

Opening Night is adapted from the 1977 film, starring Gena Rowlands as Myrtle, by Rufus and director Ivo van Hove.

The plot centres around the actress starring in a play called The Second Woman which is limping around dead-end venues before its planned star-studded debut on Broadway.

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But its main star is on a dangerous downward spiral, fearing she’s lost her youth, her mind and is also traumatised by the death of a young female fan knocked down and killed outside the theatre, whom she now sees everywhere.

The Breakdown She Suffered

Her volatile behaviour grows to such an extent she has the curtain pulled down on her, which is something Sheridan has previously experienced when she suffered her own breakdown.

Eight years ago, while playing Fanny Brice in the West End show Funny Girl, her mental health hit rock bottom, sparked by her drinking and father’s cancer diagnosis, which saw a show cancelled mid-performance amid reports she was slurring her words.

She later took a four-week break from production citing ‘stress and exhaustion.’

Sheridan looks back at those troubled times with much regret and reassures fans there will be no danger of a repeat in Opening Night.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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