12/05/2016 12:30 BST

Sheridan Smith Takes Leave Of Absence From 'Funny Girl' Due To 'Stress And Exhaustion'

'We will miss her enormously and send our love and best wishes.'

Sheridan Smith is to take a leave of absence from her role in ‘Funny Girl’ due to “stress and exhaustion”, it has been confirmed.

Over the past two weeks, Sheridan has missed several performances as Fanny Bryce in the West End show, due to what has been described as her “indisposition”.

‘Funny Girl’ bosses have now issued an official statement, announcing that her understudy, Natasha J Barnes, will be taking over while Sheridan recuperates.

David M. Benett via Getty Images
Sheridan Smith and the 'Funny Girl' cast

Producers said on Thursday (12 May): “The entire team at Funny Girl is thinking of Sheridan, and know she is getting the rest and support she needs during this difficult and stressful time.

“We will miss her enormously and send our love and best wishes - and we are looking forward to her return to the show in due course.”

Sheridan is expected to return to the show after an absence of “two to four weeks”.

It has been a particularly difficult couple of months for Sheridan, who announced back in March that her beloved father has been diagnosed with cancer.

She was also forced to speak out on rumours that a performance of ‘Funny Girl’ had been cut short because she was drunk, more recently blasting the press on social media for their treatment of her at such a tough time in her personal life.

Writing on Twitter earlier this week, she said: Well done press! U let me down, the cast and everyone who spent money to see me.”

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