The vivid and witty voice of Shirley Valentine, a middle-aged and put-upon housewife, narrates her own epiphany in Russell’s moving and influential comic monologue about personal and sexual identity.
Shirley is used to talking to the kitchen wall. Her husband pays her no attention unless his dinner isn’t on the table the moment he walks through the door, and so the running monologue she delivers while preparing his egg and chips is the closest she comes to a conversation. Her friend Jane has invited her on holiday to Greece, but of course she’s not going to go. Her husband would have no-one to cook his dinner or do his ironing.
But as she talks to the wall and cooks the chips, she realises that all she wants is to drink a glass of wine by the sea, and live her life again.
Shirley Valentine was first performed in 1986 at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool.