Wednesday, 29 March 2017

REVIEW: Shirley Valentine at MK Theatre

Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine. Starring Jodie Prenger. 

Milton Keynes Theatre March 27th 2017.

Having seen the film with Pauline Collins we weren’t sure whether this performance was going to be solo, as originally written, or with more cast members as per the film.

However, Jodie Prenger certainly stepped up to the mark with a solo performance that was par-excellance.

Blessed with a most brilliant and witty script her comic timing was spot on, and properly carried Willy Russell’s excellently observed narrative of a woman’s life, from the circumstances that he had observed during his time working and then running his own ladies hairdressing salon in the 1970’s.
The play is set in two scenarios:- Shirley’s kitchen at home, where we learn about her history and how trapped she feels with her current circumstances as a wife whose family have now left home, living with a similarly trapped husband who has a strict regime for his home life (i.e. it’s Thursday so it must be steak and chips night and will not deviate from this).

The scene is then moved to on to the beach in Greece, where she has escaped with a friend, without telling her husband. She feels that here she has at last got away from her ritualistic life and found freedom and the person she was before her marriage. To the point where she has jumped out of the check-in queue to return back to the UK, and she now has a job in Costa’s bar with whom she had a short term fling just after she arrived in Greece.

As we leave her, she is sitting on the beach waiting for her husband to walk by, as he has now arrived in Greece to find her.

Jodie portrays Shirley with great enthusiasm and a vibrant personality and makes this a most entertaining performance. A great evening. 

On until Saturday 1st April. Tickets from or telephone 0844 871 7652 (booking fee applies)

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