CHIPS AND EGG IS PURE ENJOYMENT
It’s 30 years since Willy Russell’s play ‘Shirley Valentine’ premiered and despite many social changes, it has stood the test of time and is still as topical and funny as it was in 1986.
Liverpool housewife, Shirley’s kids have left home and she has found solace for more years than she can remember, in talking to the wall.
We first meet her cooking chips and egg for Joe, her husband who “likes everything to be as its always been with his grub on the table at the same time every day” and who wants to know her every move.“If I go to the bathroom for over five minutes he thinks I’ve been high-jacked”.
After much self reasoning Shirley asks herself just where has her life disappeared to? So when, out of the blue, a friend offers her a two week trip to Greece she secretly packs her bags and heads for the sun leaving Joe a freezer full of meals.
On her Greek island she meets Costas, who makes the earth move for her, rediscovers herself and decides not to return home “If I didn’t go back who would miss me”
The beauty of Shirley’s character is that many women of a certain age can relate to her in so many ways as the laughter from the many middle aged women in the audience confirmed.
From beginning to end you can engage with Jodie Prenger’s Shirley. She’s warm, she’s funny, she’s confused But Prenger’s portrayal borders on brilliance for her comedy timing is perfection yet she has the ability to reign it in, giving way beautifully to the sensitive and poignant moments in the script.
This production is one that has a tremendous feel good factor and makes you feel a hundred times better than you did when you first took your seat.
Only two days left to see Shirley runs until Sat 8 April at The Grand Theatre, Leeds