Award-winning stage and screen actress Sheridan Smith has announced that she is returning to the London stage next year.
At the end of the interview Simon Mayo asks Sheridan if she has plans to return to the stage, and she answers: “Do you know what? – I have missed being on the stage, and actually I have accepted to do a play on the stage.”
Smith confirmed that the play – rather than a musical – is a one-woman play, and will be produced in London’s West End at the start of 2023,
She wasn’t allowed to reveal the title, but when Kermode and Mayo were speaking back in the studio after the interview, Mayo shared the name with Kermode on a piece of paper, and he said, “oh, okay”, suggesting that it’s a play the pair have already heard of, rather than a new work. (We are practically Miss Marple, and may have to start a theatrical private detective agency the minute we publish this news story).
There’s no shortage of one-woman plays to choose from – and after nothing for years, we have just had two major one-woman plays produced in the West End, with Jodie Comer starring in Suzie Miller’s Prima Facie, and Ruth Wilson starring in Jean Cocteau’s The Human Voice.
Assuming it isn’t either of those, then other choice examples include The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell, and Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett (actually a number of Samuel Beckett’s).
It will be great to have Sheridan back on the London stage, and in a play. Her last jaunt was as the narrator in Joseph at the London Palladium, and prior to that the Menier Chocolate Factory production of Funny Girl, which transferred to the Savoy Theatre. She has proved time and again that she can pull of a dramatic stage role, memorably in Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic in 2012 (yes, dear reader, TEN years ago).
Sheridan is equally fabulous in comedies or drama, or a combination of both, which makes us wonder whether Shirley Valentine wouldn’t be a great fit for her. Plus Willy Russell deserves a big retrospective – something we have been championing for ages.
We await news with much anticipation!