After speculation in the national press that Sheridan Smith may have left the West End production of Funny Girl for good, producers have issued a statement today, confirmed that she will return, albeit much later than anticipated.
Due to “stress and exhaustion”, Smith was officially announced as taking a leave of absence, which was meant to be two to four weeks, on 12 May after having already missed several performances. Funny Girl is booking at the West End’s Savoy Theatre until 8 October 2016.
Sonia Friedman, David Babani and Scott Landis, the producers of Funny Girl, said today:
“It is, and always has been, Sheridan’s and the producers’ intention that she will return to Funny Girl, and any speculation to the contrary is entirely inaccurate and unhelpful.
“Sheridan’s recovery from stress and exhaustion is the absolute priority. She is doing really well and is incredibly keen to return as soon as possible. Following medical advice, her return to the production will be slightly later than originally anticipated – no later than week commencing 11 July.
“Natasha J Barnes, who has played Fanny Brice in recent weeks to great critical and public acclaim, will continue in the role until Sheridan’s return.”