Shirley Valentine - Sheringham Summer Rep

Sheringham Little TheatreHappy days are here again: the Sheringham Summer Rep season has started in style with a Willy Russell classic that is as warm as any Mediterranean sun and an actress - Loraine Metcalfe - who is just dazzling.

Sheringham Little Theatre

Happy days are here again: the Sheringham Summer Rep season has started in style with a Willy Russell classic that is as warm as any Mediterranean sun and an actress - Loraine Metcalfe - who is just dazzling.

In a faultless monologue of more than two hours, Metcalfe holds the audience in the palm of her hand as she traces the moving tale of how downtrodden housewife Mrs Shirley Bradshaw finds herself again as Shirley Valentine.

Russell once said that “comedy is the best way for us to learn the truth about ourselves” and this play blends humour and pathos to describe an all-too-common human condition: how easy it is for people to “live a little life”, trapped in roles that smother their true selves.

Shirley certainly makes us laugh - with some wonderful one-liners as she talks to the kitchen wall - and to us - about her shattered dreams and dreary existence. She grabs the chance to go to Greece where she falls “in love with the idea of living”.

If it was a brave choice to start the season with a long monologue, a simple set, and a play better known for the film version, producer Debbie Thomson and director Des Barritt have chosen very well and - with Metcalfe as Shirley - the play shines brighter than the film.

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t The play runs until July 17 and again August 1-7.

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