Sheridan Smith is set to return to the West End to star in the Old Vic's production of Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, in a version by Brian Friel and directed by Anna Mackmin. The show begins previews on the 5th of September and opens on the 12th of September for a run until the 10th of Novemeber. This news follows the rumors that Sheridan has quit Bridget Jones The Musical.
Sheridan has won the Olivier and Evening Standard Best Actress awards for her performance in Trevor Nunn’s production of Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and the Olivier and What’s On Stage Best Actress awards for Legally Blonde (Savoy). Her other theatre credits include Tinderbox at the Bush directed by Josie Rourke, Little Shop Of Horrors (Menier/Duke Of York’s), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The People Are Friendly (Royal Court), Ancient Lights (Hampstead) and Into The Woods (Donmar). She has recently completed filming the title role in the much-anticipated BBC drama Mrs Biggs and Jimmy McGovern’s acclaimed BBC series Accused. Other television work includes Gavin & Stacey and Jonathan Creek and her film credits include Quartet directed by Dustin Hoffman. Could she to win her third Olivier award in three years?
The rest of the cast of Hedda Gabler includes Buffy Davis as Bertha, Anne Reid as Juliana Tesman, Adrian Scarborough as George Tesman and Fenella Woolgaras Thea Elvsted.
The play is about the conflict of the requirements of society and those of the individual explores the corrosive descent of Hedda Gabler into the treacherous void between expectation and reality. The general’s daughter has married the respectable academic Tesman - a husband she despises as mediocre – and now, driven by fear and loathing, Hedda’s despair goads her independent spirit to a rage expressed in the wilful contamination of life around her which eventually leads to disaster for her and all those beguiled by her.
Kevin Spacey, The Old Vic's artistic director, said that he was "particularly pleased" Smith would be playing the lead role of the aristocratic general's daughter in "such an iconic and impactful play. Sheridan is a wonderful actress who has rightly received acclaim for her recent work and I am sure audiences will be intrigued to see her tackle this role," he said.
Smith tweeted after the announcement and joked: "Must need my Hedda testing taking on this role, but it's good to step out your comfort zone."
I can't wait to see Sheridan in another completely different role! Everything she touches turns to gold so this play is not going to be one to be missed!