Sheridan Smith has been signed off from her role in the stage musical Funny Girl for another month. The actress was due to reprise her role in the West End show on Friday after an extended break due to "stress and exhaustion", but doctors have confirmed she still isn't ready to return to work.
Confirming the news in a statement, the show producers said: "Sheridan's recovery from stress and exhaustion is an absolute priority. She is doing really well and is incredibly keen to return as soon as possible.
Sheridan Smith has been signed off her role in Funny Girl
"Following medical advice, her return to the production will be slightly later than originally anticipated – no later than week commencing 11 July."
Sheridan was initially granted time off from her role as Fanny Brice in the West End production in May. At the time producers released a statement saying that the 34-year-old star, who has pulled out of a number of performances recently, would be getting "the rest and support she needs".
"The entire team at Funny Girl is thinking of Sheridan, and know she is getting the rest and support she needs during this very difficult and stressful time," the statement read. "We will all miss her enormously and send her our love and best wishes – and we are looking forward to her return to the show in due course.
The actress is suffering with stress and exhaustion
"Meanwhile, we are thrilled to support the wonderful Natasha J Barnes who will be taking on the role of Fanny Brice until Sheridan's return." It has been suggested that Sheridan is struggling to come to terms with her beloved father's cancer diagnosis in March; it is the same disease which killed her brother a decade ago.
The star missed three consecutive performances of Funny Girl this week, after attending Sunday's Bafta TV Awards. She missed out on the best actress and best drama awards for The C-Word, in which she played terminally ill cancer blogger Lisa Lynch to huge critical acclaim. Comments on social media about her disappointment, caught on TV cameras, prompted Sheridan to tweet: "When will you stop bullying? I had the best night in memory of my girl Lisa Lynch!" She later wrote: "Well done press! U let me down, the cast, and everyone who spent money to see me," before apologising for missing Monday's show, saying: "Sorry! Sorry I'm not strong enough." Sheridan has since made her Twitter account private.