Theatre News

Shirley Valentine Spends Valentine's Day at the Lantern, Liverpool

The hit Willy Russell play comes to Liverpool for two nights only in February.

Local theatre company PurpleCoat have got Valentines day covered: with a revival of Willy Russell‘s classic play, Shirley Valentine.

Jackie Jones
Jackie Jones
© Peck Photography

The one woman show is possibly one of Liverpool’s most beloved plays, premiering at the Liverpool Everyman back in 1986, it went on to become a smash London transfer and movie, staring Pauline Collins. For many Liverpudlians though, it is another Pauline, namely local legend Pauline Daniels, who holds the true image of Shirley.

"It’s almost embedded in Liverpools psyche," says director, Karl Falconer. "And we’re very aware of that. We want to bring something new to the play, making it relevant to the Liverpool of today. The play is fantastic for that. Apart from a few cultural references, you’d never know it was almost thirty years old. It’s universal."

It is the fourth time PurpleCoat will return to the Lantern, after productions of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming and, another Russell play, Breezeblock Park. PurpleCoat’s Shirley is local actress, Jackie Jones. She has worked with PurpleCoat before, playing Mum in their Virgin Media Shorts entry, The Big Day, which reached the official shortlist, picked by David Tennant and Shane Meadows.

More recently, Jackie was seen in the Liverpool Echo as part of the Fewer Units campaign and during her nationwide sellout tour of Suitcase, which recalled experiences of the Kindertransport.

Shirley Valentine plays at The Lantern Theatre on 14 and 15 February.