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Shirley Valentine - Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

Shirley Valentine

Willy Russell

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Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy


ISBN: 9780573691201

"Absolutely smashing." - The New York Post
"A joyful, captivating piece of theatre." - The New York Daily News
"A thrilling, cheer raising piece of theatre." - The Financial Times

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Author | Now Playing | Reviews | Related Products
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play

Dramatic Comedy

90 minutes

Time Period - Contemporary, 1990s, 1980s

Settings Of Play - The kitchen of a semi-detached house. A Greek island.


Competition or audition material

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre, Shoestring Budget


From Broadway, From West End

Nominee! 1989 Tony Award, Best Play
Nomnee! 1989 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding New Play
Named among the "10 most influential postwar British plays" by Guardian UK
The heroine in this actor's tour-de-force is an ordinary middle class English housewife. As she prepares chips and egg for dinner, she ruminates on her life and tells the wall about her husband, her children, her past, and an invitation from a girlfriend to join her on holiday in Greece to search for romance and adventure. Ultimately, Shirley does escape to Greece, has an "adventure" with a local fisherman and decides to stay. This hilariously engaging play was a hit in London and New York, performed by Pauline Collins, who later recreated her role on film garnering an Oscar nomination.

"Absolutely smashing." - The New York Post

"A joyful, captivating piece of theatre." - The New York Daily News

"A thrilling, cheer raising piece of theatre." - The Financial Times

Shirley Valentine was first presented by Bob Swash in London's West End in 1988. It was directed by Simon Callow. The play was subsequently presented on Broadway by The Really Useful Theatre Company, Inc., and Bob Swash at The Booth Theatre in New York City on Feburary 16, 1989. It was also directed by Simon Callow




All Female, Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

SHIRLEY - Inside Mrs. Joe Bradshaw - a 42-yearold mother of two grown children - is the former Shirley Valentine longing to get out. Her hope and self-confidence badly shattered by school, marriage, and life, she is reduced to talking to the kitchen wall whilst preparing her husband's evening meal. When unexpected adventure calls, Shirley seizes the opportunity and goes, to encounter a totally different lifestyle. Shirley, breaking out of the mold cast for her by society, shines brilliantly with humor, warm sympathy, and human insight.
Willy Russell

Willy Russell

Willy Russell’s career spans more than four decades; born in Liverpool in 1947, he left school at 15, became a women’s hairdresser, part-time singer/songwriter performing on the local folk scene, before returning to education and becoming a teacher Whilst at St Katharine’s College, Willy began writing drama and, in 1972, took a programme of three one-act plays to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival ... view full profile

Now Playing
Jennifer Lally 2/6/2014 3:20 AM
A marvelous, well written play that every woman should see at least once to help keep life in perspective.  No one should allow themselves to become solely a title and lose their sense of identity.  Shirley Valentine seizes the opportunity  for her reconnection to self all the while revealing a series of hilarious and poignant stories to her audience.  A challenging and rewarding role.  Brava Shirley!

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