Shirley Valentine comes to Merimbula

Escape to the Sun: Mandi Lodge as Shirley Valentine who leaves the drudgery of her life in Liverpool behind for just two weeks in Greece.

Escape to the Sun: Mandi Lodge as Shirley Valentine who leaves the drudgery of her life in Liverpool behind for just two weeks in Greece.

Shirley Valentine is a hilarious, moving and uplifting story about one woman, yet encompassing universal themes.

Winner of numerous awards as a play and movie, it has been recognised as one of the seminal works in contemporary theatre and now it’s coming to Twyford Hall, Merimbula with Shirley portrayed by Mandi Lodge who was such a success in touring theatre company Hit Productions’ Always Patsy Cline.

Shirley Valentine by the award winning Willy Russell is a wonderfully entertaining play about a middle-aged Liverpool mother whose self-esteem has been battered by school, marriage and life in general. When her best friend wins a Greek vacation for two, Shirley grasps the chance to head for the sun, to re-find herself, follow her dreams and to get a new lease on life.

The play has already toured in Queensland, WA and will be in Darwin before heading south to Merimbula for two performances on Tuesday, July 25.

Mandi Lodge said that the play is funny and moving and Shirley is a wonderful character.

“Even the men who come along relate to Shirley and understand the message about finding what makes you tick and what makes you happy,” Mandi said.

Liverpool life.

Liverpool life.

The Liverpool accent can be a difficult one to master and Mandi’s original Yorkshire accent provides no help but this isn’t the first time that Mandi has delved into the Liverpudlian accent.

“I was in Educating Rita and so I had to practise the accent then; now it’s just a case of refreshing it to get myself back into it,” Mandi said.

With typical Liverpudlian warmth Shirley lets the audience into her kitchen telling them about her life.

“She has a lovely warm sense of humour; it’s like your best friend talking to you and you’re drawn in as she tells you a fascinating intertwined story,” Mandi said.

The stage play was first produced in 1986 and went on to London’s West End and Broadway. The film starring Pauline Collins premiered in 1989.

Shirley Valentine is at Twyford Hall, Merimbula, Tuesday July 25, 2pm and 7.30pm. Tickets from trybooking.com or Merimbula Newsagency.

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