Sunday 25 September 2016

Sheridan Smith hits out at 'pressure' to return to stage after father's illness

Published 02/03/2016 | 17:21

Sheridan Smith will be taking
Sheridan Smith will be taking "each day as it comes", the production said

Sheridan Smith has said she felt "pressured" to return to the stage after her father was taken ill.

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The actress pulled out of Tuesday's performance of Funny Girl The Musical and initially planned to perform on Wednesday - but is now set to miss the show and "take each day as it comes", the production said.

In a now-deleted tweet, the actress wrote: "You have no idea what I'm getting pressured into. They don't give a f*** about my dad!"

A spokesperson for the production said: "Our priority at this time is to Sheridan and her family. Sheridan's primary concern is quite rightly her father's wellbeing, and we support her wholeheartedly.

"We would never ask nor expect an artist to perform in this situation, and ask that you respect her and her family's privacy at this time."

The actress, 34, shared with her Twitter followers on Tuesday: "Had shit news 2day,sorry I can't make the show for u loyal fans,if u ask they give u tix to the Savoy!"

Funny Girl is playing at the Menier Chocolate Factory theatre but will transfer to the Savoy Theatre on April 8.

She added: "it's one, hate missing shows but pappa needs me x"

The Cilla star also responded to disappointed theatre-goers with offers to arrange and fund the tickets herself.

On Wednesday, she tweeted: "People think I pulled out of funny Girl, not just yet.I mssed 1 show last night, back to finish this week @MenChocFactory then we'll see".

She added: "I'm back tonight, apologies for last night, I would've just sobbed throughout :) back tonight with dad's support x ... comin back tonight,the show is my escapism&dad wants me on.Hated missing last night,needed a min to take it all in".

But the actress is no longer set to perform on Wednesday evening.

The spokesperson said: "She will not be performing in Funny Girl this evening (Wednesday), and we will take each day as it comes. Tonight's performance of Funny Girl will go ahead with her understudy Natasha J Barnes.

"The run of Funny Girl at the Menier Chocolate Factory has been a tremendous success, and we look forward to welcoming audiences to the transfer at the Savoy from April.

"For those patrons who have tickets to any affected performances at the Menier and choose not to see the show, the producers are in agreement with Sheridan, and would like to confirm her offer of tickets to see her in Funny Girl at the Savoy.

"Tickets will be subject to availability. Patrons should contact the Menier to make arrangements."

While many fans have been supportive on Twitter, Smith also replied to negative comments directed at her.

In response to one critic, she wrote: "I hope your dad never dies!"

She also tweeted: "2 words, f*** off! Now slag me off papers! U have no idea what my dad means to me. F***. Off!"

She later switched her Twitter account to private, joking to followers: "I'm gonna go private now, tell me if u see a reporter".

In response to a fan tweeting about his tickets for Friday's show, she replied: "I'll hopefully be back to finish friday & Saturday...if they'll let me!"

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