Something’s about to change for Mrs Shirley Bradshaw, mother of grown children and confidence eroded housewife. After decades of dull married life, mince dinners every Thursday and talking to the kitchen wall, her former self – the fearless Shirley Valentine – is fizzing to get out. And she’s ready to change everything. Even the wall.
★★★★ The Sydney Morning Herald
★★★★ Limelight Magazine
First performed in 1986, Willy Russell’s comic monologue SHIRLEY VALENTINE opened to awards and rave reviews and was made into an Oscar nominated film. Three decades later its message that ‘it’s never too late to be yourself’ manages to kick off any clichés with a story that is engagingly human and warmly sympathetic.
- 1988 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy
- 1989 Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut
- 1989 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play
- 1989 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play
- 1989 Tony Award for Best Play
|PREVIEWS & WEEKLY MATINEES||ALL EVENINGS & WEEKEND MATINEES|
★★★★ "Performances of such comprehensive truth are rare in Sydney" The Sydney Morning Herald
★★★★ "Shirley Valentine...still strikes a real chord, and with Millerchip finding the truth in each and every little moment it’s impossible not to be enchanted and moved." Limelight Magazine
★★★★ “A wonderful revival of this inspiring feminist play that celebrates being true to yourself” ArtsHub
"Shirley is beautifully wrought and in the Ensemble’s new production, Sharon Millerchip is simply sensational in the role." Stage Noise with Diana Simmonds
“Full of charm and airy wit, it is an engaging show from start to end" Suzy Goes See
“... brilliant material and an alert production. She [Sharon Millerchip] is a knockout and the house screamed for more.” Stage Whispers
"Go see this terrific production directed to perfect pitch by Mark Kilmurry." Sydney City News
Cast & Creatives
Willy Russell’s career spans more than four decades; born in Liverpool in 1947, he left school at 15, became a women’s hairdresser, part-time singer/songwriter before returning to education and becoming a teacher.
Russell’s breakthrough work, commissioned by Liverpool Everyman, JOHN PAUL GEORGE RINGO…AND BERT transferred to the West End winning Best Musical – Evening Standard and London Theatre Critics Awards.
Two of Willy’s best-known plays have female protagonists, EDUCATING RITA (Olivier Award for Best Comedy and SHIRLEY VALENTINE (Olivier Award – Best New Comedy & Best New Actress, Tony Awards, Broadway – Best Actress). Both became successful films – Julie Walters and Pauline Collins who played the roles on stage received Oscar nominations as did Willy Russell for the screenplay of EDUCATING RITA.
BLOOD BROTHERS (Laurence Olivier Award, Best New Musical, 1983) played for 24 years becoming the 3rd longest running West End musical. Major foreign productions include a 2 year run on Broadway, with recent productions in South Africa and Korea and current productions in Australia and Japan. The UK tour is still playing to packed houses.
OUR DAY OUT, originally written for TV, about a school outing, has been adapted for the stage as OUR DAY OUT – THE MUSICAL. Premiered at Liverpool’s Royal Court in 2010 to rave reviews it was revived a year later for another sell out season.
The critically acclaimed novel, THE WRONG BOY was published in 2000 and translated worldwide.
For the last few years, Willy has been working on painting, developing his ideas and experimenting with line, colour and form. During 2017 Willy’s artwork was exhibited for the first time; ANOTHER ASPECT at the Kirkby Gallery, Liverpool and SEEING BETTER at the Coningsby Gallery, London.
Willy Russell continues to be one of the most celebrated and widely produced writers of his generation with works regularly being produced throughout the world as well as in the UK.
Mark is the Artistic Director of Ensemble Theatre.
For Ensemble’s 2018 season Mark will be directing SHIRLEY VALENTINE, REG LIVERMORE’S THE WIDOW UNPLUGGED OR AN ACTOR DEPLOYS and THE NORMAN CONQUESTS TRILOGY.
Recent directing credits include: NEVILLE’S ISLAND, TWO, ODD MAN OUT, RELATIVELY SPEAKING, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, BETRAYAL, GOOD PEOPLE, MY ZINC BED, EDUCATING RITA, ABSENT FRIENDS, OTHER DESERT CITIES, THE ANZAC PROJECT, RICHARD III, THE GLASS MENAGERIE, FRANKENSTEIN, MANAGING CARMEN, RED, THE SPEAR CARRIER and HAMLET.
Mark’s recent acting credits include: Frank in EDUCATING RITA, Richard in RICHARD III, Hamlet in HAMLET, Otto in THE ACT, Angus in THE DRAWER BOY and Serge in ART.
Mark’s recent plays and adaptations include; RICHARD III (with Patrick Dickson), HAMLET (with John Trutwin), THE BIG DRY (based on the novel by Tony Davis), CASANOVA (based on the TV series by Russell T Davis), DIARY OF AN OLYMPIC CABBIE (Based on the book by Anthony Sharwood), MERCY THIEVES; HAPPY AS LARRY & VIV and ONE SHOT.
Mark is the recipient of two Norman Kessell Memorial Awards for an Outstanding Performance by an Actor for his roles in HAMLET and JAPES and was awarded the 2006 Hayes Gordon Memorial Award for Important Contribution to Theatre.
Cast - Shirley
Sharon returns to the stage after recently stepping out of the spotlight to work as Resident Director/Choreographer on the Disney blockbuster ALADDIN and Baz Luhrmann’s STRICTLY BALLROOM: THE MUSICAL. Sharon was last seen at the Ensemble Theatre in the smash hit one-woman show BOMBSHELLS, A PICASSO and LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS.
Other main stage roles include Roxie Hart in CHICAGO, Meg Giry in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s LOVE NEVER DIES, Belle in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Anita in WEST SIDE STORY, Charity in SWEET CHARITY, Catherine in PIPPIN, Meg Giry in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, Velma Kelly in CHICAGO, Columbia in ROCKY HORROR SHOW, Sonia Walsk in THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG, Demeter in CATS, and Cordelia in FALSETTOS and Little Red Riding Hood in INTO THE WOODS for the STC.
Sharon has received many awards for her performances, including three Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Awards.
Set and Costume Designer
Simone Romaniuk is an award winning set, costume and festival designer who works between Australia and the UK. For Ensemble Theatre she has designed FRANKENSTEIN and CASANOVA.
Set and costume design credits include: Unicorn Theatre, London: THE HUNTING LODGE. RNCM, Manchester: LA VIE PARISIENNE. Queensland Theatre Company: MACBETH, VENUS IN FUR, KELLY, HEAD FULL OF LOVE, ELIZABETH: ALMOST BY CHANCE A WOMAN, BOMBSHELLS, FRACTIONS, THE REMOVALISTS, WAITING FOR GODOT, RUBY MOON, EATING ICE CREAM, BECKETT X 3, and THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED. Opera Queensland: THE MAGIC FLUTE, THE MERRY WIDOW, SPACE ENCOUNTERS and THE MIKADO. Sydney Theatre Company: THE CRUCIBLE and THYESTES.
Since 2015 Simone has been the designer for annual international arts festival OzAsia Festival at Adelaide Festival Centre. She was resident designer for Queensland Theatre Company across 2011- 2012 and was awarded Matilda Awards Outstanding achievement for Design in 2012 and 2014. She holds design degrees from NIDA and QCA.
Nick has been an independent lighting designer since graduating from WAAPA in 1999. He has worked across all genres in all states and for most companies. Nick is not only a Lighting Designer, but a photographer and film-maker. He has worked extensively for Ensemble Theatre and was a nominee for the Best Lighting Design Award, Sydney Theatre Awards for his design for FRANKENSTEIN. Nick and his partner moved to Tasmania after working on a show and falling in love with the state. He just hopes that no-one else finds out how wonderful it is here!
Stephanie is a graduate of the Australian Academy of Dramatic Art.
As Stage Manager: THE RASPUTIN AFFAIR, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, GOOD PEOPLE (Ensemble Theatre), HOOTING AND HOWLING (Critical Stages Regional Tour), SENIOR MOMENTS (Return Fire Productions), PRIDE, THE HORSES MOUTH FESTIVAL, BONDI FEAST (TRS), SET: THE PLAY (NIDA Independent), A VIEW FROM MOVING WINDOWS (Riverside Theatres), ON THE RAZZLE (AADA). As Swing Technician: THE REMOVALISTS (TRS), SAY HELLO FIRST (Cupboard Love). As Production Manager: (& Mentor) PLAYHOUSE CREATURES (AADA), SAY HELLO FIRST (Cupboard Love), BODY LANGUAGE (107 Projects), BEFORE/ AFTER (AADA). As Assistant Stage Manager: EMPIRE (TRS), THE WIZARD OF OZ (Packemin), THE WOODSTOCK EXPERIENCE (AIM), THE THREE LIVES OF LUCY CABROL (AADA). As Producer: GODS AND GAMES: NEW SHORT WORKS (AADA). As an Actor: TALKING WITH (Bare Productions), VARIOUS TVC, EMPIRE (TRS), HOME COOKING, SEX- ED (Eastside Radio), GRIMM TALES (Customs House), BEFORE/AFTER, GODS & GAMES: NEW SHORT WORKS, A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM, THE SKRIKER (AADA).
Amy Hume is a voice teacher at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), and is Founder of one of Sydney’s leading voice businesses, Viva Voice. She was a Voice/Dialect Coach at MATILDA THE MUSICAL in Sydney; most recently she was Dialect Coach for Critical Stages’ national tour of STONES IN HIS POCKETS. Other credits include productions for Belvoir, Sport for Jove, Old Fitz, NIDA, Shakespeare & Co (Massachusetts), The Shakespeare Forum (New York) and Columbia Stages (New York). Amy is also Voice and Accents Tutor at ATYP. She is a Designated Linklater Teacher and holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Voice from Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) with First Class Honours. Through Viva Voice, she regularly facilitates corporate voice and communication training for organisations across different industries.
Renata is a costume supervisor, maker and milliner. She graduated from NIDA in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Costume Production.
Supervising credits include: THE KITCHEN SINK, BUYER AND CELLAR, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, David Williamson’s ODD MAN OUT, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, BETRAYAL, A HISTORY OF FALLING THINGS (Ensemble Theatre), THE CORONATION OF POPPEA, RAMEAU: ANACREON AND PIGMALION, THEODORA (Pinchgut Opera), HENRY V, THE WINTER’S TALE, MACBETH, INTIMATE LETTERS (Bell Shakespeare) THE TEMPEST, WOYCECK, A LIE OF THE MIND, PORT, THE THREESOME (NIDA). Design credits include: THE TEMPEST, ROMEO AND JULIET, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Sport for Jove). Costume making credits include: THE CRUCIBLE (Sport for Jove), KING KONG (Global Creatures), IN THE NEXT ROOM (STC), THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, LOVE EVER DIES, and many Opera Australia productions. Millinery credits include: THE GREAT GATSBY (Bazmark), THE 7 SOPRANOS (Cre8ion), MY FAIR LADY, AIDA, CARMEN (Opera Australia).