Funny play contains key message of hope

By Cindy McQuade

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FEEL GOOD: Shirley Valentine was written by Willy Russell and made famous when it hit the big screen, becoming an award-winning movie in 1989.
FEEL GOOD: Shirley Valentine was written by Willy Russell and made famous when it hit the big screen, becoming an award-winning movie in 1989.

Shirley Valentine is a feel-good, funny play that will leave the audience feeling hopeful, according to director Richard Rugg.

The one-woman show is based on the life of Shirley, now Mrs Joe Bradshaw, whose hopes and self-confidence are battered by school, marriage and life. She is reduced to talking to the kitchen wall whilst preparing her husband's evening meal.

As she sips a glass of wine she dreams of drinking in a country where the grape is grown. Shirley's predicament is shown with warmth and human insight as she grapples with major life issues.

"It's about being more than you think you are," said Mr Rugg.

Although the play is about a housewife stuck at home, it's not just a show for women about women - the play applies to men as well.

"The idea is that just because society or your family have placed you into a little box, you can get yourself out of that. Men put themselves into boxes too.

It is universal."

Shirley is played by local woman Liz Carrington who has been acting since she was 17.

"Shirley is a very funny character, she has a really nice point of view. It is very witty and observant and Liz is fantastic.

"It is a phenomenal role, and you are up there on your own for about 90 minutes. It is a bit like being a stand-up comedian doing this play," Mr Rugg said.

"There will be times when the audience thinks 'wow that was quite meaningful', but it will also have a lot of fun."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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