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Jodie Prenger to star in UK tour of Shirley Valentine

The 30th anniversary production will open in Bromley in March 2017

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Jodie Prenger
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Jodie Prenger will take on the title role in a new UK tour of Willy Russell's comedy Shirley Valentine.

Glen Walford returns three decades later to direct the 30th anniversary production which will open in Bromley on 2 March 2017.

Taking the form of a monologue, Shirley Valentine is a one-woman play about a middle-aged, working class Liverpool housewife whose life is transformed after a holiday in Greece.

Prenger found fame when she appeared on Andrew Lloyd Webber's TV show, I'd Do Anything and was subsequently cast as Nancy in his 2009 production of Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Her recent theatre credits have included UK tours of Tell Me On A Sunday, Calamity Jane and One Man, Two Guvnors.

Willy Russell is best known for his plays including Educating Rita and Blood Brothers. Shirley Valentine premiered at the Liverpool Everyman in 1986, and had its West End premiere in 1988 starring Pauline Collins, who later starred in the Oscar-nominated film adaptation alongside Tom Conti.

Talking about the revival, Russell said: "When producer Adam Spiegel introduced me to Jodie Prenger I knew in an instant that here was a formidable actress, one who possessed the grit and the warmth, the drive and the vulnerability, the energy and the heart to make Shirley Valentine really live again.

"How could any playwright resist that or deny the whole of the UK the chance to see Jodie bring Shirley to life?"

Shirley Valentine opens at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley on 2 March 2017, and then tours to Birmingham, Woking, Richmond, Milton Keynes, Leeds, Bath, High Wycombe, Sheffield, Glasgow, Canterbury, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Coventry, Swindon, Salford, Cardiff, Tunbridge Wells, Shrewsbury, Brighton and Malvern, with further dates to be announced.

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