Major revival of Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine is comin’ in 2017


In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the first major revival of Shirley Valentine is to tour the UK in 2017 starring actress Jodie Prenger.

Directed by Glen Walford, Willy Russell’s heart-warming comedy Shirley Valentine premiered in 1986 and took the world by storm. Shirley Valentine was adapted into an Oscar nominated film starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti.

Shirley is a Liverpool housewife. Her kids have left home and she makes chips and egg for her husband while talking to the wall. Where has her life disappeared to? Out of the blue, her best friend offers her a trip to Greece for 2 weeks and she secretly packs her bags. She heads for the sun and starts to see the world and herself very differently.

With a career spanning over four decades, Willy Russell is one of the most successful playwrights of his generation. His plays include Educating Rita, Blood Brothers, Our Day Out and Shirley Valentine.

Of the revival, Willy Russell said; “It’s now thirty years since Shirley Valentine first walked onto the page, into my life and the lives of so many others. Shirley cooked her first meal of egg and chips on the stage of the Everyman Theatre Liverpool before then hoofing it down to London where along with the cooking and talking to the wall she started picking up the string of awards she’d win in the West End, on Broadway and in the film that earned both BAFTAs and Academy Award Nominations.

Adding: “Since those early days, Shirley has had an incredibly rich and varied life, appearing in many tongues across  the  globe in countless productions and being performed by many great actresses. The one thing Shirley Valentine has not done of late is extensively tour the UK. There have been approaches and plans mooted but, somehow, it’s just never quite felt right and so I’ve resisted such efforts – until now! And what has made the difference? When producer Adam Spiegel introduced me to Jodie Prenger I knew in an instant that here was a formidable actress, one who possessed the grit and the warmth, the drive and the vulnerability, the energy and the heart to make Shirley Valentine really live again. How could any playwright resist that or deny the whole of the UK the chance to see Jodie bring Shirley to life?”

Jodie Prenger is best known for winning the role of Nancy in the West End production of Oliver! through the BBC television series I’d Do Anything.

Glen Walford, director of the original production, will direct this major revival.

Book your tickets for Shirley Valentine here.