Like many plays from the renowned Willy Russell, Shirley Valentine has the idea of class at the heart of its story as a working class housewife in Liverpool receives some big news and prepares for a life much-needed holiday. It is a classic play, which was first seen in Liverpool back in 1986 and will soon be opening its doors at Trafalgar Studios 1 alongside another of Russell’s classics – Educating Rita.
Much is said about the power of the Menier Chocolate Factory – the Off-West End that often stages future West End hits – and with both Shirley Valentine and Educating Rita it has given birth to another stand-out show. In the past it has also staged shows like La Cage Aux Folles and Sweet Charity, both of which moved on to Theatreland and served to highlight the high quality of productions that are often given life there.
It also means that it can feature some well known performers and with Shirley Valentine this is no different. The Menier Chocolate Factory version, and the upcoming show at the Trafalgar Studios, sees Meera Syal take on the title character having previously appeared in a host of television comedy shows, including The Kumars at No. 42 and Goodness Gracious Me.
For Shirley Valentine, Syal takes on the role of a Liverpudlian housewife who has found herself struggling in a working class environment and regularly delivering monologues to the wall as she prepares her husband’s evening meal. One of these speeches is the basis of the play as this one-woman show offers a unique insight into the inner workings of a compelling character.
Valentine’s story changes when she hears the news of her best friend winning a Greek holiday-for-two. Leaving a note for her husband, she gathers her belongings and heads out for what will be a much-needed break.
So with both Shirley Valentine and Educating Rita making their way to the West End; audiences will have the choice of three classic shows from Will Russell, whose musical Blood Brothers remains a selling point at the Phoenix Theatre. All three of the shows have common themes and after many years appearing all over the world are all staged in one city for audiences to enjoy.
Shirley Valentine (in repertoire with Educating Rita) is at Trafalgar Studios 1 from Monday 26th July 2010 until Saturday 30th October 2010.
|Booking From:||Tuesday, 20th July 2010|
|Booking Until:||Saturday, 30th October 2010|
|Matinees:||Thursday and Saturday 3.30pm|
|Evenings:||Monday to Saturday 7.30pm|
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