Break­ing the mould in Proser­pine

Whitsunday Times - - CHILL - Peter Car­ruthers Peter.Car­ruthers@ news­re­gional­me­

AN award-win­ning play chron­i­cling the jour­ney taken by Shirley Valen­tine to break the cast im­posed by mod­ern so­ci­ety will open for one night only at the Proser­pine En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre this Satur­day.

Shirley Valen­tine, which won the award for Best Com­edy at the 1988 Lau­rence Olivier Awards, is a funny but mov­ing piece.

The play is about es­cape and takes the form of a mono­logue by a 42-year-old Liver­pool mother and house­wife, Mrs Joe Brad­shaw, be­fore and af­ter a trans­form­ing hol­i­day to Greece.

In­side Mrs Joe Brad­shaw is the for­mer Shirley Valen­tine long­ing to emerge.

Her self-es­teem battered by school, mar­riage and life in gen­eral, she finds her­self talk­ing to the wall while her hus­band is out work­ing.

She feels that her life is ter­ri­bly mun­dane as she com­pares scenes in her cur­rent life with what she used to be like and feels she has stag­nated. When her best friend wins an all-ex­penses-paid va­ca­tion to Greece, Shirley grasps the op­por­tu­nity to leave her cur­rent drudgery be­hind.

The note in the kitchen reads “Gone to Greece, back in two weeks”.

With much hu­mour, warmth, sym­pa­thy, hu­man in­sight and a great deal of em­pa­thy, Willy Russell bril­liantly shows Shirley break­ing out of the mould cast by mod­ern day so­ci­ety.

Not to be missed in Proser­pine on April 1.


TRIB­UTE: Willy Russell plays Shirley Valen­tine in the play of the same name on-stage in Proser­pine on April 1.

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