Review: Shirley Valentine the best reason to go out

By Jill Nicholas

Add a comment
Shirley Valentine is at Shambles Theatre until July 23. PHOTO/FILE
Shirley Valentine is at Shambles Theatre until July 23. PHOTO/FILE

Anyone out and about on a cold, wet, windy mid July night needed a very good reason to be so inclined.

Those at the Shambles Theatre on Friday night had the perfect reason - they went to be entertained by Shirley Valentine, one of the best one-woman shows this city's seen in a long while.

In Liz Carrington they found a local performer well-qualified for such an ambitious solo role.

From curtain up, Carrington had her audience absorbed as she launched into a 90-minute monologue, delivered in an accent that's pure Scouse - impressively so, if it's not her 'native' tongue.

Equally impressive is Carrington's multi-tasking ability. It's no mean feat frying eggs and chips on stage while faultlessly delivering non-stop lines reflecting on how the carefree single girl Shirley once was has morphed into wifely mediocrity.

Can it really be 30-plus years since 'women of a certain age' became hooked on the Shirley Valentine syndrome, following her dream of self reinvention?

Isn't, they asked then, a Shirley inside us all? Someone who talked to her kitchen wall for lack of more stimulating conversation, opining and reminiscing on years which, to borrow from the script, reflect on a life unused?

They yearned to be Shirley, she did something about it - she went to Greece and stayed.

Dated thoughts? Maybe, but Shirley Valentine remains an 80s classic and the Shambles crew's stayed true to that.

For a work created by a man (Willy Russell), Shirley Valentine's outpourings are a perceptive insight into the angst of middle aged womanhood.

Unseen characters flitting in and out of Shirley's discourse become living, breathing people and, when once in Greece and alone again (but satisfied), she talks to a rock, who can't become a believer that life is what you make it.

With the stage-savvy Richard Rugg directing, this was always set to be a top class production.

It is - and definitely a must see, however foul the weather.

■ For tickets call (07) 348 8614 Monday to Saturday, 11.30am-1.30pm.


What: Shirley Valentine

Where: Shambles Theatre:

When: July 15-23

- Rotorua Daily Post

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 01 May 2017 05:05:22 Processing Time: 752ms