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Theatre Review: Shirley Valentine (UK Tour)

by Katey Thompson

Shirley Valentine theatre review (UK Tour): Shirley gets lost in a moment and finds herself again.

Shirley Valentine theatre review by Katey Thompson at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, March 2017.

Shirley Valentine theatre review

Willy Russell is known for writing about strong women; this play is no different and is the story of a woman from Liverpool, trapped with in a marriage where she can no longer identify with her old self.  Asking herself ‘Where did Shirley Valentine go?’, she is rescued from her own limited existence by a friend Jane who pays for them both to take a 2-week holiday to Greece.  This turns out be more than just any Mediterranean jaunt and becomes a journey of self-discovery.  Shirley finds love and a new perspective on life with a Greek waiter Costas, whilst Jane has abandon her to find her own paradise.  

The play is a monologue, the only other people on stage were the set dressers.  This means that the strength of the play rests firmly in the ability of one actress, Jodie Prenger.  With only two scenes in the play, the kitchen of the house in Merseyside and the beach in Greece, everything else is suggested by a gesture or glance combined with the barely perceptible music score to add atmosphere.  Prenger captivates the audience with an entertaining performance that is spoken from the heart, expressing Shirley’s desire to be set free from the monotonous mundanity of every day life as a wife and mother.

Jodie Prenger is entertaining to watch with a soothing voice which gave life to the other characters she was discussing in her discourse with the audience. A thought provoking evenings entertainment.

Shirley Valentine review, Katey Thompson.

Shirley Valentine plays at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking until Saturday 18th March. before continuing on its nationwide tour until 23rd September, 2017.

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