Willy Russell’s heartwarming comic monologue, Shirley Valentine premiered in 1986 and took the world by storm, opening to rave reviews and made into an Oscar nominated film. Now three decades later, with its message still resonating that it’s never too late to be yourself, Ensemble Theatre presents a new production this May.
Wondering what has happened to her youth and feeling stagnant and in a rut, Shirley finds herself regularly alone and talking to the wall while preparing an evening meal of egg and chips for her emotionally distant husband. However, something’s about to change for Mrs Shirley Bradshaw, mother of grown children and confidence eroded housewife.
After decades of dull married life, mince dinners every Thursday and talking to the kitchen wall, her former self – the fearless Shirley Valentine – is fizzing to get out. And she’s ready to change everything. Even the wall.
“Shirley Valentine has at its core, within shrieks of recognition and laugh out loud brilliant one liners, a bittersweet melancholy and yearning we can all identify with,” says Ensemble Theatre’s Artistic Director Mark Kilmurry. “I am thrilled to be directing this play with the amazing Sharon Millerchip. The deal was I won’t direct it until Sharon said yes… thank goodness she said yes.”
Triple Helpmann Award winner Sharon Millerchip returns to the stage after recently stepping out of the spotlight to work as Resident Director/Choreographer on the national tours of Disney’s Aladdin and Strictly Ballroom. Sharon was last seen at the Ensemble Theatre in the smash hit one-woman show Bombshells (Glug Award), A Picasso and Last of the Red Hot Lovers.
Sharon’s other stage credits include: Love Never Dies, West Side Story, Sweet Charity (Helpmann Nom), Pippin (Helpmann Nom), Satango (Sydney Dance Award), Beauty and the Beast (Mo Award), The Phantom of the Opera, Velma Kelly in Chicago (Helpmann Award), Columbia in The Rocky Horror Show (Helpmann Award), They’re Playing Our Song, Cats, Falsettos, Into The Woods (Mo Award, Sydney Theatre Award) and Roxie Hart in Chicago (Helpmann Award, Sydney Theatre Award).
“At times funny, at others desolatingly sad … a moving celebration of the independence of the human spirit.” – The Telegraph UK
Director: Mark Kilmurry Starring: Sharon Millerchip Set And Costume Designer: Simone Romaniuk Lighting Designer: Nick Higgins Stage Manager: Stephanie Lindwall Costume Supervisor: Renata Beslik Dialect Coach: Amy Hume
Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall Street, Kirribilli (North Sydney)
Season: 9 May – 9 June 2018 (previews: 3 – 8 May)
Information and Bookings: www.ensemble.com.au
Image: Sharon Millerchip stars in Shirley Valentine – courtesy of Ensemble Theatre