Going about the mundane tasks of domestic life, we meet Shirley Valentine, a housewife living in Liverpool in the 1980s. She moves about her home kitchen preparing dinner and tea for her husband who has yet to arrive home from work. Her children are grown and have moved out of the house, her marriage is void of love leaving Shirley lonely and aimless. Her kitchen wall has become her confidant. She tells of a life empty with no passion, excitement or purpose. Her glass of wine and the wall seem to be her only comforts. Shirley starts to reminisce about her lost youth. She remembers living a lively and vibrant life before the hum drum of responsibility and duty of an ordinary life took over. We learn that her one friend and neighbor, has offered to take Shirley on a two-week holiday to Greece. Shirley wants nothing more than to go, but she worries her husband won’t let her go and if he did, could he survive without her for two weeks? She jokingly says, “If I go to the bathroom for five minutes he thinks I’ve been hijacked.” In the end Shirley decides to find her inner strength and goes to Greece. There she recaptures her passion for life and finds a “land beyond the wall.” The hour and forty minute show, is a journey where she rediscovers herself and decides to take control of her life, and to live her “unused” years.
This one-woman play, written by Willy Russell, originally premiered in Liverpool in 1986 and received rave reviews. This was a time when one-person plays were not nearly as popular as they are today. In 1989, Pauline Collins won the Tony Award for ‘Best Performance’ by a leading actress in a play. It was in 2004 that DeeDee Rescher brought to life Shirley Valentine at the Long Beach Playhouse. It is a treat to have her reprise the role at The Laguna Playhouse. She brings humor and a sensitive emotion to the role that easily draws you in and connects you to the character. This is an honest and heartfelt look at life and how it doesn’t always quite turnout like we thought it would.
Be sure to see ‘Shirley Valentine’ at The Laguna Playhouse
Now through October 23rd
Tuesday-Fridays 2pm and 8pm
Saturdays 2pm and 8pm
By Anne-Marie S.