Sheridan misses show for third night
CONCERN was growing last night for the wellbeing of star Sheridan Smith after she failed to appear in the lead role of Funny Girl in London’s West End for the third evening running.
Her place on stage as Fanny Brice at the Savoy Theatre was taken again by understudy Natasha J Barnes.
The venue’s management said in a statement the switch was “due to the indisposition of Sheridan Smith”.
The same explanation was given when she failed to appear earlier in the week.
Friends say Miss Smith, 34, who came to fame on TV in Gavin and Stacey and played Cilla Black in the TV biopic Cilla, is struggling to cope with her father’s cancer diagnosis and she has faced cyber-bullying after losing out on a Bafta award on Sunday night.
She could not hide her disappointment at the live Bafta show when she failed to win Best Actress for playing writer and breast cancer victim Lisa Lynch in the BBC drama The C-Word.
After Miss Smith missed her Funny Girl performance on Monday abusers online accused her of being a bad loser.
She was also mocked by Bafta host Graham Norton over claims she had been tipsy during a performance of Funny Girl two weeks ago.
She was forced to leave the show mid-performance citing “technical difficulties” and some audience members left saying she was slurring her words on stage.
Norton joked that celebs at the Baftas could enjoy a few drinks “… or, as they say in theatrical circles, a couple of glasses of ‘technical difficulties’.”
After failing to appear at the Savoy on Monday Miss Smith, who denied the drinking claims, wrote on Twitter: “I apologise profusely! Sorry! Sorry I’m not strong enough!”
And she lashed out at online critics telling one: “Sat behind your computer u little geek, love to see what u look like. Come say your **** to my face & let’s see what happens.”
She has previously referred to her “dad dying”, saying she was struggling to deal with the news that her father has cancer. Her brother died of the disease.
Miss Smith’s representative would not confirm when she will return to the five-month run of Funny Girl, for which theatre goers have paid up to £100 per ticket.
The star, who has previously won a Bafta for Best Actress as well as Laurence Olivier Awards, was awarded an OBE last year for services to drama.