REVIEW: Laughter and tears with Shirley Valentine

Just Regional
Jul 14, 2016 3 mins read

To an untrained audience member (that’s me) it would seem that a one man or woman show is the hardest form of theatre to nail.

Firstly there’s all those lines which a monologue brings and committing them to memory with no other cast members to prompt you. It’s just you, on stage, doing your thing and hopefully entertaining the audience.

Actress Lorraine Metcalfe did it all to a tee, even cooking a fried egg on stage as she brought the role of Shirley Valentine to life with laughter and tears.

Lorraine took on the lead role in Willy Russells’ original stage play, where the dialogue felt as fresh today as when it was written.

She took us through the drudgery of Shirley’s life, making sure hubby’s tea was on the table when he came home from work, her reliance on a glass of wine or two and the need to talk to her “wall”.

There was the internal battle when she’s offered the chance of a holiday to Greece and her nerves as she waits to be picked up for the airport.

And then, there she is, cool and confident in Greece, where she discovers the old Shirley and a new life.

Lorraine had the audience laughing one minute and then in silence the next as she revealed the sadness in her life. There were even a few tears, from the leading lady as well as the rapt spectators.

To carry this off in the intimate setting of the Little Theatre, where the audience is so close to the stage was no mean feat.

Lorraine will be appearing as another iconic female lead later on in the season in the 1970’s Mike Leigh play Abigail’s Party as well as other shows in the summer rep.

Catch her and you won’t be disappointed.



July 12-16: Shirley Valentine  – a middle aged Liverpudlian housewife whose life is stuck in a rut finds new excitement, and a new self, on holiday in Greece.

July 19-23: Stone Cold Murder – a tense thriller as guests arriving at a Lake District hotel run by newlyweds unlock a fight for survival linked to their past.

July 26-Aug 6:  Taking Steps – frantic farce action fizzes from a cocktail of mixed-up characters, brought together in a former brothel.

August 10-16: Railway Children – a new twist on the classic children’s adventure set around a rural rail line in Yorkshire.

August 18-27: Changing Rooms –  a husband and wife pursue affairs in stylish 1970s Paris while their housekeeper Nana is keen to have their flat to herself for her own plans.

August 30-September 3: Abigail’s Party – a boozy 1970s suburban cocktail party simmers and boils with flirting, tensions and venomous verbal exchanges.

Lorraine Metcalfe, who is starring as Shirley Valentine at Sheringham Little Theatre. PICTURE: MOLLY FOSS

Lorraine Metcalfe, who is starring as Shirley Valentine at Sheringham Little Theatre.


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