“Shirley Valentine” by Willy Russell Source Presented by Roxanne, Vanessa & Jasmine Willy Russell (1947- ) - He was born in 1947 at Shiston near Liverpool, England. - At fifteen he left with little idea of what he wanted to do beyond a vague notion of wanting to become a writer. - He decided to become a dramatist while he was at St. Catherine's College of Education. - He was well into his adult years before his interest in learning and he began attending night classes. (source) - The first play, Keep Yours Eyes Down, was taken by the college drama group to the Edinburgh Fringe in 1971. - The first novel, The Wrong Boy, published in 2000, has been translated into 15 languages and is currently being adapted for a major television series. - The first music album, “Hoovering The Moon”, was released in 2003, spotlighting Russell's musical talent that has been overshadowed for years by his literary skills. (source) Willy at Galway Arts Festival performing songs from his album HOOVERING THE MOON with Tim Firth (at the piano). Time line 1971- Keep Your Eyes Down (The first play) 1972- SAM O'SHANKER , PLAYGROUND 1973- When The Reds (produced at the Everyman Theatre, ) - King of The Castle (his first play for BBCTV, set in a factory.) - TAM LIN - SAM O'SHANKER (reworked musical version of this play ) 1974- Death of A Young Man (BBC Birmingham Play for Today ) - John Paul George Ringo and Bert - Break In 1975- Blood Brothers… 1976- Our Day Out … 1977- Lies 1978- Stages and Hens 1980- Educating Rita - One Summer 1981- Educating Rita (screenplay) - Blood Brothers (Non-musical schools version) 1986- Shirley Valentine (Opens at the Liverpool Everyman Theater) 1987- Russell began writing the screenplay for Shirley Valentine 1988- Stage play opened at London's Vaudeville Theatre 1989- The film was released 1993- “Shirley Valentine” (opens at the Liverpool Playhouse) 1995- “Words On The Run” 1996- “Our Day Out” (stage version at Belgrade Theatre Coventry) 1997- “Terraces” (broadcast by BBC Schools Television) 2000- Wrong Boy (the first novel from Willy Russell ) 2004- Hoovering The Moon - In Other Words THE W. R. FOUNDATION AWARD Willy Russell in collaboration with Tim Firth sets up the W.R. Foundation Award to stage new writing at the 2005 Edinburgh Festival. THE SINGING PLAYWRIGHTS The musical show, created and polished by Willy and Tim Firth, moves on to Edinburgh for a twelve date season as part of the internationally famous Edinburgh Festival - the world’s largest arts festival. (source) John Moores University presents Willy Russell with an Honorary Fellowship - the citation was made by Pauline Collins. Willy Russell’s best known plays 1980- Educating Rita 1981- Musical “Blood Brothers” 1986- Shirley Valentine The major characters in these plays struggle to overcome their entrapment in spiritually stifling working class environments. Rainford School: Spot Willy Russell and the original Shirley Valentine... Willy Russell - first left on the front row. Shirley Valentine (now Shirley Lavender) seventh from the left, middle row. Shirley Valentine One woman’s monologue. Women exhibit strength and determination both behind the scenes and center stage. The film: BAFTAS Best Actress Best Screenplay OSCAR Nominated Best Actress GOLDEN GLOBE Nominated Best Actress (Source) UK Awards: OLIVIERS Best Comedy Best Actress SWET Best Actress A woman's journey to her inner freedom (Source) Summary Act One / Scene One Shirley talks to the wall in their kitchen about her family and friend Jane when she is preparing evening meal. Jane’s invited Shirley to go to Greece with her for fortnight, but she hesitated. Accidentally, Shirley runs into her old classmate Marjorie. After Marjorie leaves, on the way home, Shirley feels that she will have nowhere to go if she goes to Greece. Act One/ Scene Two Shirley has got everything ready for her traveling. Suddenly, her daughter Millandra comes home and Shirley tells her about her trip to Greece. Millandra thinks that is a disgrace and leaves home. Because of Millandra’s reaction, Shirley wants to give up. But a beautiful robe from Gillian changes her mind. Shirley is going to Greece. Act Two/ Scene One In Greece, Shirley talks to a rock about why she is alone but not lonely. One evening, she goes to a bar and meets Costas. She asks him if he can move the table and chair to the sea to fulfill her dream, and Costas makes it. Next day, Costas and Shirley go boating around the island and they have sex. On the day Shirley and Jane have to go back, Shirley decides to stay in Greece. What happens next? Characters Shirley: - a 42-year-old mother and housewife - a wonder woman of observation and recall - feeling trapped in her barebones row house kitchen - rediscovers herself on a Greek island Joe: - a prosaic, hidebound husband - image of the inertia (imprisons himself & S) “…he likes everything to be as it’s always been. Like his tea always has to be on the table…” (P2, L20) - chief external obstacle to S’s change “I’m not goin’ to Greece, if that’s what I’m not getting fed properly, …y’ can forget it.” (P17, L5 bottom) Millandra: - a young woman of uncertain ambitions Brain: - an aspiring busker poet Jane: - best friend “…found her husband in bed with the milkman.” (P3 L25) Gillian: - Shirley’s neighbor Marjorie: - high school friend Costas: - a seductive Greek tavern owner - a womanizer “A dream, a dream. We move this table to the edge of the sea, it makes your dream come true?... Then, is no problem.” (P29 L12 bottom) - a semi-professional romantic - the helmsman of S’s voyage of liberation Shirley Valentine The development of her personality I. Girlhood: - a teacher thinks little of her abilities “You must have been told that answer!” (P11, L2) - true self is squelched (became a rebel) “But I didn’t hate anythin’ y’ know. The only thing I hated was me. I didn’t want to be a rebel. I wanted to be nice.” (P11, L16) II. Housewifehood: - early marriage (no-expectations housewifehood) “…I’ve been talkin’ to the wall for more years than I care to remember now. An’ I’m frightened. I’m frightened of life beyond the wall.” (P14, L6 bottom) - decides to go Greece (a fragment of her life) “…I’m going to the land beyond the wall….I’m gonna try anything. Like I used to. Unafraid. Without fear of anythin’ new.” (P22, L9 bottom) Shirley The Sensational! Shirley The Brave! The first turning point! Shirley Bradshaw Shirley Valentine (22) When does the second one occur? And How? Shirley & Marjorie /Shirley & Gillian Do you find similar experience in life? While you wish to be somebody else, that person wants to be you. Setting two contrasting locations transformation of the central character’s life Act I: Liverpool- industrial city, sunless (gloomy) Kitchen - center of S’s circumscribed world - arena of S’s growing discontent - trapped in the banal space - silent partner (frustrating life) - routine household chores Setting Act II: Greece - Mediterranean sun, romantic dream Beach- a site of pleasure and self-indulgence - village and tavern - self-searching/ Greek-awakening - inner freedom (nature, the sea, true self ) Self emancipation triggers visual transformation external expression of the change in S. Theme Quest for happiness, meaning and freedom in life. --She hopes to recapture the excitement and free spirit of her single days as Shirley Valentine. Questions 1. Do you think Joe will join Shirley in Greece? 2. What is the most important factor in Shirley's decision to stay in Greece? 3. Why does this play have only one character? Does this have anything to do with the central theme? 4. Do you agree with Shirley's choice in leaving home and her husband and staying in Greece? Why or why not? Justify your reasons with examples from the text. Works Cited Andrucki, Martin. “SHIRLEY VALENTINE by Willy Russell. “The Public Theatre:Jan. 1997. 21 May 2006 <http://www.thepublictheatre.org/guides/ 9697_shirley_valentine.html>. Brown, Joe. “Shirley Valentine.” Washingtonpost.com. 21 May 2006 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpsrv/style/longterm/movies/videos/ shirleyvalentinerbrown_a0adae.htm>. Ditkoff, Anna. “Diary of a Mad Housewife: Vagabond's Shirley Valentine Is Full of Charm.” Citypaperonline:The Art. Baltimore City Paper:2006. 21 May 2006 <http://citypaper.com/arts/story.asp?id=4470>. Martinez, Julio. “Reviews-Shirley Valentine.” Variety.com. Aug. 23, 2005 21 May 2006 <http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117927971?categoryid=33&cs=1>. Russell, Willy. Shirley Valentine. Shirley Valentine and One for the Road. London: Methuen, 1988. 1-36. Till, Francis. “NZ Herald Review of Shirley Valentine:Shirley Valentine at The Pumphouse”. The Real Theatre Company Ltd: Bringing Professional Theatre to the North Shore. Nov. 9, 2003. 21 May 2006 <http://www.realtheatre.co.nz /Reviews/Reviews.htm>. “Willyrussell.com. ” The official-unofficial web- site delicate to Willy Russell. 21 May 2006 <http://www.willyrussell.com/page1intro.html>. “Willy Russell.” 21 May 2006 <http://www.student.nada.kth.se/~d97-ask/blood/Willy/willy.htm>.