Sheridan Smith’s under-fire West End play Opening Night could reportedly be cut short as ticket sales are slashed in a desperate bid to draw in crowds.  

The actress, 42, stars as functioning alcoholic actress Myrtle Gordon in the new musical – which is based on the 1977 drama film starring Gena Rowlands

But fans have been left baffled and bored by the production, with scores of theatregoers streaming out of the show nearly every evening since its March 6 debut, complaining about the bewildering plot.

The actress has begged fans to come and see her at the Gielgud Theatre in London this week, but now with fears from investors her star quality ‘won’t even be able to get the crowds in’, bosses are now toying with the idea of ending the 21 week run early, according to reports. 

‘Sheridan has been a resounding success but the show itself has been far from it. To say it’s been polarising is an understatement, reports of theatre goers walking out at the interval have really worried some of the investors,’ a source told The Sun

Sheridan Smith's under-fire West End play Opening Night could reportedly be cut short as ticket sales are slashed in a desperate bid to draw in crowds

Sheridan Smith's under-fire West End play Opening Night could reportedly be cut short as ticket sales are slashed in a desperate bid to draw in crowds

Sheridan Smith’s under-fire West End play Opening Night could reportedly be cut short as ticket sales are slashed in a desperate bid to draw in crowds

The actress, 42, stars as functioning alcoholic actress Myrtle Gordon in the new musical - which is based on the 1977 drama film starring Gena Rowlands

The actress, 42, stars as functioning alcoholic actress Myrtle Gordon in the new musical - which is based on the 1977 drama film starring Gena Rowlands

The actress, 42, stars as functioning alcoholic actress Myrtle Gordon in the new musical – which is based on the 1977 drama film starring Gena Rowlands

‘No official meeting has been held yet, but a number of them have spoken about how they would go about serving notice on the theatre and cutting the run of shows short.

‘At the end of the day, even though it’s entertainment, it’s a business and they are worried that poor ticket sales will mean they don’t make their investment back, Sheridan is a saving grace for Opening Night because of how good she is on stage, but even her star power can’t get the crowds in.

The insider added while Sheridan’s stint in Shirley Valentine last year was a resounding success with tickets selling out, there are still lots available for Opening Night which is ‘turning into a disaster’ for bosses.   

MailOnline has contacted Sheridan Smith‘s representatives for comment and Delmont Mackintosh Theatre. 

Sheridan defended the show after it was revealed earlier this week that ticket prices have been slashed.   

In an attempt to fill up the audience, Sheridan herself begged fans to attend the production as she admitted she feels ‘so much pressure’. 

Speaking to Scott Mills on his Radio 2 show on Tuesday she confessed about performing: ‘I get terrified, it’s worse as I get older. I was fearless when I moved to London. Now, there’s so much pressure.’

But fans have been left baffled and bored by the production, with scores of theatregoers streaming out of the show nearly every evening since its March 6

But fans have been left baffled and bored by the production, with scores of theatregoers streaming out of the show nearly every evening since its March 6

But fans have been left baffled and bored by the production, with scores of theatregoers streaming out of the show nearly every evening since its March 6 

The insider added while Sheridan's stint in Shirley Valentine last year was sold out (pictured), there are still lots of tickets available for Opening Night which is 'turning into a disaster'

The insider added while Sheridan's stint in Shirley Valentine last year was sold out (pictured), there are still lots of tickets available for Opening Night which is 'turning into a disaster'

The insider added while Sheridan’s stint in Shirley Valentine last year was sold out (pictured), there are still lots of tickets available for Opening Night which is ‘turning into a disaster’ 

Begging listeners to purchase their tickets, she added: ‘It’s [Opening Night] absolutely fascinating and fun… please come!’ 

Tickets have already been slashed for the show and are being sold on London Theatre with a 36% discount with prices starting from £25, ShowFilmFirst are also selling them for the same price. 

Previously, front row tickets would have set attendees back £176 but can now be purchased for £110. 

Reporters who attended Opening Night at the Gielgud Theatre saw at least 50 audience members leave during the interval on two separate evenings last week. Staff at the theatre confirmed it was a regular occurrence.

And while some critics have praised the avant-garde show as ‘extraordinary’, dozens of nonplussed ticketholders have been voting with their feet and walking out midway through – or even before the interval.

Among those heading for an early exit last week was Helen, 59, an admin worker for the NHS, who went with a friend. 

She said: ‘I didn’t have a clue what was going on. It’s not Sheridan – she’s a great actress – but I was falling asleep.’ 

Following a successful premiere, Sheridan was joined by her friends who had turned out to the Gielgud Theatre to see her.

Happy Valley actor James Norton was seen congratulating Sheridan, shortly after she was joined by the her co-stars including Amy Lennox and writer Rufus Wainwright.

The musical is based on the namesake 1977 film about the actress who is left traumatised by the death of a teenage fan. 

The moment is 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.

Sheridan – who exclusively told MailOnline 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.

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.’

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.

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.’

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