(AD) Shirley Valentine at The Everyman Theatre review

This blog post is marked as an advert (AD) because I received tickets and a programme free of charge in return for creating this content. I aim to be transparent in order to retain your trust and hope that you will continue to support the Thrifty Mumma Thrifty Bubba blog and social media channels.

If you’ve ever dreamed of abandoning your day to day routine in favour of a foreign fling then Shirley Valentine, showing at The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham until Saturday 22nd February is sure to make you smile.

Shirley Valentine, the comedic play written by Willy Russell, is given a new lease of life for 2020. Directed by Ian Talbot OBE, this brand new staging takes a light-hearted look at middle age and the unfulfilled feeling that most people can relate to.

Claire Sweeney singlehandedly portrays the dowdy and disheartened housewife Shirley Valentine. In her 1980s Liverpool kitchen, Shirley has begun to talk to the wall in desperation for conversation.

Misjudged, ignored and underappreciated by her husband, children, neighbours and friends, Shirley dreams of life beyond the wall.

Shirley’s big break comes when her friend Jane offers her a two week holiday to the Greek Island escape of Corfu. Filled with self doubt, Shirley toys with the idea of leaving behind life as she knows it.

However, when her daughter returns to live at home and her husband throws his ‘chip’n’egg’ dinner back at her, Shirley takes a stand, packs her suitcase and prepares for the adventure of a lifetime.

The simple set effortlessly transforms from kitchen to Greek taverna and the clever use of sound effects from a spitting frying pan to waves breaking on the shore allow the audience to enjoy the ambience of both of Shirley’s environments.

Left to her own devices after Jane is distracted by a holiday romance, Shirley is soon swept off her feet by Costas, the owner of a Greek taverna by the sea.

Costas allows Shirley to fulfil her dream of ‘sitting in a chair, at a table by the sea, watching the waves and drinking wine in a country where the grape is grown’.

Shirley swaps ‘wall’ for ‘rock’ and embarks on a journey of self discovery and ultimately, self love.

As the main character in a demanding one woman show, Claire Sweeney instantly captured the audience with her twinkling eyes, sparkling wit and comic delivery – it was a delight to watch her ‘come alive’ on stage as her character Shirley transformed her outlook on life.

Sweeney is so talented and effortlessly captivating – she had the audience laughing and crying alongside her.

Switching accent and character with ease, Sweeney is a pleasure to watch and remained thoroughly entertaining throughout the show.

Don’t miss out on a Greek adventure of your own by booking your tickets today!

Did you see the original Shirley Valentine film? Have you ever dreamed of escaping to a foreign country? Which is your favourite Greek island? Comment below, say hello and let me know!

As always, thank you to The Everyman for inviting me along to review the show and thank you so much for reading.

Love, Thrifty Mumma X

To find out more information about the Shirley Valentine tour or to book tickets please visit: www.everymantheatre.org.uk.

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube too – come say hi!

Related blog posts:

Pantomime 2019: Cinderella at the Everyman Theatre

Peter Pan Goes Wrong: A review

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