Published On: Wed, May 8th, 2024
Entertainment | 2,622 views

Rufus Wainwright blames Brexit for his Sheridan Smith musical flop closing early | Theatre | Entertainment

“Opening Night starring Sheridan Smith is a confusing, tedious mess with irritating hand-held cameras and disappointingly dreary music by Rufus Wainwright.”

That’s what’s Arts Editor Stefan Kyriazis wrote in his 1 star review after the West End show’s press night.

Other theatre critics slammed the musical about an alcoholic actress preparing for the opening night of her new play.

Labelled a “tedious mess” some theatregoers were so “bored” they ended up walking out during the interval.

It wasn’t long before producers announced that Opening Night’s run, which was originally set to conclude on July 27, would finish two months early on May 18. But despite this, Rufus Wainwright – who wrote the music and lyrics for the theatrical flop – has doubled down by blaming the UK’s “narrow outlook” after Brexit for the show’s failure.

Speaking with The Guardian, Wainwright said he felt Brexit Britain audiences were too conservative for the experimental parts of Opening Night.

The musician said: “I do feel that since Brexit, England has entered into a darker corridor where it is a little more narrow in its outlook and the vitriol because we put ‘English rose Sheridan Smith through this ordeal of European theatre’ felt a little bit suspect to me. I was a little surprised by that.

“There’s a lack of imagination and curiosity about change. All of the reviews from Europe were incredible for this piece; the staging and the rhythm is more European and there was a vitriolic reaction against that. I don’t think it was perfect and that I don’t deserve criticism, but this thing of shutting it down if it’s not exactly what you want is not really the theatrical lane that I want to live in.”

Upon announcing that Opening Night would close two months early, producers said: “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.”

Opening Night runs at the Gielgud Theatre in London’s West End until May 18 and tickets can be booked here.

Source link