MKFM's Vicki McCarthy from the Evening Show, covers for Arts Correspondent, Nancy Stevens while she’s on holiday and reviews Shirley Valentine at Milton Keynes Theatre.
Shirley Valentine - Willy Russell’s touching story of a downtrodden Scouse housewife, who feels that she no longer has a purpose in life besides looking after her ungrateful husband and being an unpaid servant for her ignorant, grown-up kids.
Shirley spends her days home alone, with her only confidant… the kitchen wall and has now begun to question her very existence. So when a chance to travel to Greece comes up, Shirley throws caution to the wind, not only embarking on her first trip abroad, but also on a delightful journey of self-discovery.
Made famous 28 years ago on the big screen, many of us are familiar with the film adaptation of Shirley Valentine and also with Pauline Collins’ and her magnificent portrayal of the lead character. The film saw Pauline star alongside a stellar supporting cast, including household names Joanna Lumley, Alison Steadman and Julia McKenzie. So many theatre-goers who have only seen the film may be surprised to learn that the original stage version is a one-woman show.
Step forward Jodie Prenger, first thrust into the spotlight in 2008, as she competed in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s BBC show “I’d Do Anything”, where she not only won the heart of the nation, but also the coveted part of Nancy in hit musical Oliver!
Since Oliver! Jodie has seen much success, from treading the boards in Spamalot, One Man, Two Guvnors and Calamity Jane, to regular appearances on TV and radio, as well as charity work for causes close to her heart.
So there I was - excited and confident in her experience and abilities - settling into my seat at MK Theatre, intrigued by how Jodie would tell the story up there all on her own and I very much looked forward to seeing how her monologue would engage the audience.
As a huge fan of the 1989 film, I knew most of the hilarious lines before they were spoken, but Jodie’s delivery and energy ensured that laughs were still plentiful. Aside from the hilarity, Jodie’s depiction of the story’s vulnerable (but extremely loveable) heroine Shirley perfectly captured the poignancy of the underlying theme of loneliness and a life being wasted.
Despite the Scouse accent being dubious in places (I grew up in Liverpool and had the accent when I moved to MK!), Jodie made her version of Shirley as equally as endearing as Pauline Collins did almost three decades ago; you felt her isolation, you felt her frustration and you felt her joy as she began to rediscover a zest for life that was all but diminished after marrying Joe and becoming Shirley Bradshaw.
With just two acts and two simple sets, all eyes and ears were totally on Jodie, as she transported the audience back to the 1980s. She performed in a way that felt like it included the audience, making it feel that you were just listening to the woes of a good friend over a cup of tea, in their kitchen.
This is a play that has endured well over the years and I personally would define the film as a classic, so watching Jodie own the character, the script and audience’s attention so beautifully was a delight to witness.
Shirley Valentine is now running at MK Theatre until April 1st. Ticket prices start at £15.00.
Sponsored Stories You May Like
Milton Keynes Council to give grade II listed Almshouses a new lease of life
The Almshouses were commissioned in 1702 and acted as a form of low-cost community housing up until the 1960s.
Pupils at Milton Keynes secondary school to self-isolate if someone in their household tests positive as cases rise
Pupils will also have to return to wearing masks whilst in lesson settings at school.
Dance festival to take place at Milton Keynes shopping centre next month
MÓTUS presents 'The Universe & Me - Part II' - supported through Arts Council England, the Milton Keynes Community Foundation and Milton Keynes Council.
Residents in Milton Keynes told to not store large quantities of fuel amid panic buying
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue have taken to social media to remind people of the dangers of storing large quantities of fuel at home.
Milton Keynes schools invited to the UEFA Women’s EURO action next summer
Milton Keynes is hosting four UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 football matches at Stadium MK next summer.
High Court rejects controversial Milton Keynes warehouse developer's legal challenge
The developer, GUPI 6 Limited, had requested to proceed with a legal challenge against a recent appeal decision made by the planning inspector.
Milton Keynes family lose everything after tumble dryer blaze destroys home
A mother and daughter have been left with nothing but the clothes on their back following a devastating fire in their Milton Keynes home.
The Parks Trust ask residents to support Milton Keynes’ inspirational landscapes
In a brand new document, ‘Milton Keynes’ Inspirational Landscapes: Now and Forever’, The Parks Trust has set out their vision for green infrastructure across MK.
Milton Keynes Microbrewery win gold at SME MK & Buckinghamshire Business Awards
Bucks Star Beer, based in Stonebridge, are thrilled to have have won gold in the Buckinghamshire Business of the Year Award 2021, held at the Jury's Inn on Thursday 9th September.
Volunteering Matters invites you to attend “Beyond the Horizon” this October
National charity Volunteering Matters invites you to attend “Beyond the Horizon” at The Sky Room, MK Gallery, on Thursday 14th October, 6-8pm, to celebrate the partnerships formed to support young people in Milton Keynes.
Parents reminded how to spot respiratory illnesses in children ahead of virus season in Milton Keynes
Understandably, parents are more alert to cold-like symptoms which may often be confused with coronavirus yet can be apprehensive about contacting the NHS unnecessarily.
Milton Keynes based-charity raising awareness of the sickle cell disease
MK Melting Pot is a small but impactful non-profit organisation that has been running for over 10 years.
You May Have Missed
Coronavirus test centre employee's outcry over being charged to park whilst at work in Milton Keynes
Employees at the drive-in coronavirus test centre in Central Milton Keynes have to pay to park each day, it has been revealed.
Deadly blue-green algae appears in another Milton Keynes park as warning sent to dog owners
Deadly blue-green algae has been identified in another Milton Keynes park as dog owners are warned to keep their animals out of the lake.
EXCLUSIVE: McDonalds to restart breakfast service in Milton Keynes from July 8th
MKFM understands that McDonalds will be re-starting their breakfast service in all Milton Keynes stores from 8th July.
Cafe Rouge to close in Milton Keynes as owners of chain enter administration
Cafe Rouge in Milton Keynes will be closing permanently as the owners of the chain enter administration.
The areas in Milton Keynes where the most deaths involving coronavirus have sadly happened
The Office for National Statistics have revealed new localised data on the number of deaths which have taken place involving coronavirus.
Milton Keynes local coronavirus case numbers do NOT include Drive-Through test centre results
A national newspaper has revealed that government coronavirus case numbers on a local authority level do not include any tests from local drive-through test centres and some home testing kits.
Cat is stabbed twice in Milton Keynes
Last week, a family discovered that their pet cat had been stabbed in each of her back legs.
'Scum' spray-painted onto Milton Keynes couple's store window as well as other graffiti
A Milton Keynes couple have had the word 'Scum' spray painted onto their store window, as well as other graffiti on their store sign.