Smith becomes Jones as Sheridan is chosen to play Bridget on stage

Bridget Jones is returning with a vengeance. The angst-ridden and accident-prone singleton who won fame in Helen Fielding's columns in The Independent before conquering the world in a book and on screen, is about to bring her comic self-doubt and unfulfilled relationships to the West End stage.

The show and cast have not been officially confirmed, but the Olivier Award-winning actress Sheridan Smith is almost certain to win the role, having impressed Fielding in extensive workshops for the production.

Followers of both parties on Twitter will have seen Smith voicing some Bridget-like self-doubt, only for Fielding to reassure her: "You ARE Bridget Jones."

The musical is likely to find a West End theatre next year. As fans of Bridget Jones will have already gleaned, Lily Allen is writing the music and Stephen Daldry, director of Billy Elliot, has been mooted as director. Meanwhile, Fielding is understood to be writing a new book about her character and a third movie is being planned, with Renée Zellweger again putting on pounds to play the heroine.

In the last film, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, she finally got together with Mark Darcy, who was played by Colin Firth. Working Title, the British film company behind the first two movies, is preparing the new film.

Firth revealed the possible plot to a reporter from the American magazine Entertainment Weekly .

Firth told the magazine: "I can tell you that Bridget and Mark can't have children, I think that's the way it goes on. So then she makes the huge mistake of going back to Daniel Cleaver [Hugh Grant's character] for long enough to get pregnant.

"And I think he dumps her and she's left stranded, and guess who comes back to rescue her?"

Whether that does turn out to be the plot, and whether Firth's tongue was in his cheek, remains to be seen.

It certainly is likely that all three stars of the last film in 2004, Zellweger, Firth and Grant, will feature in the next movie, though it is to be hoped that the new film and musical will make more of Bridget's female friendships and often hilarious chats with her two girlfriends.

This was a key feature of Fielding's columns in The Independent and in the book, but it was one that was curiously under-represented in the previous two films.

The musical version is likely to show a younger Bridget than the new film, one who is still single. There will also be an emphasis on dance in the West End show. Smith certainly would seem to be ideal casting for the role of Bridget on stage.

Smith played the lead in the musical Legally Blonde in the West End and won rave reviews, as she did for her follow-up role in a revival of the Terence Rattigan play Flare Path.

Smith's proven ability as an actress – both comic and serious, singer and dancer – together with the endorsement of Fielding may suggest that the official confirmation of her landing the part of Bridget won't be too far away.

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones