Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell is the story of a middle-aged woman escaping the mundane cycle of her suburban life and finding out what it means to truly be alive.
Evan’s interpretation of Russell’s modern classic was charming in its simplicity. The one-woman show has its desired intimacy due to the short distance between audience and actress as well as there only being two settings. However, sometimes this simplicity turned to limitation where certain elements of the settings gave the suspended reality of the theatre a run for its money.
The majority of the audience had been drawn to the performance by the 1989 film however in the confines of the theatre some attempts at humour struck as outdated rather than nostalgic. As well as this, the charisma of Shirley Valentine was missing leading to a different view of the main character which came off more as pitiful than the relatable pop-culture symbol that many have grown to love.
It was a pleasant performance but due to theatrical limitations as well as the burden of being the sole cast member. Despite this Sonia Beck gave a good performance especially considering the pressure on her. But it seemed to fall short.
Gwyn Hall, Neath
21st November 2016
Theatre Company: Lighthouse Theatre
Author: Willy Russell
Director: Dee Evans
Design: Anna Kelsey (Designer) Tony Davies (Sound Designer) Jonny Rees (Lighting Designer)
Stage management: Lisa Briddon (Company Stage Manager) Naomi Turner (Deputy Stage Manager)
Lead Technician: Andrew Merrell
Cast: Sonia Beck
Running Time: 2 hours