Oct/Nov 2003

Shirley Valentine
by Willy Russell

Directed by
Jan Ford

Braintree & Witham Times

All of us watching
were transfixed
Dunmow Observer

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Most people remember the wonderful Oscar nominated movie starring Pauline Collins, but Shirley Valentine began life as a successful stage production. Having a cast of just one, Shirley is an ambitious challenge for any theatre company, whether professional or amateur. By bringing together the outstanding acting talent of Carol Parradine with the accomplished direction and creative vision of Jan Ford and our committed backstage team , we were confident we could bring this wonderful piece of theatre alive in the Barn. From the rapturous ovations we received and the outstanding judgement of our local press critics, our confidence wasn't misplaced - we think you all loved it!

Inside Mrs. Joe Bradshaw – a 42 year old mother of two grown children – is the former Shirley Valentine, the wilful, adventurous young woman she once was. School, marriage and a humdrum life has reduced Shirley to talking to the kitchen wall whilst preparing her husband's evening meal – to be on the table as he opens the front door every night. As she sips a glass of wine she dreams of drinking in a country where the grape is grown.

Her friend offers her a holiday in Greece and, with great trepidation and a lot of forward planning, she seizes the opportunity and goes, to encounter a totally different lifestyle and rediscover Shirley Valentine, the woman she lost.



      Carol Parradine