In 1986, when Willy Russell first wrote his play Shirley Valentine, shirts emblazoned with the slogan “The Future is Female” weren’t flying off the shelves and it would be decades before the hashtag #TimesUp became a rallying call to unite women.
Nevertheless, more than 30 years on, Russell’s comic monologue delivered by an unappreciated Liverpudlian housewife who decides to take a life-changing trip to Greece continues to resonate with its message of upending expectations of gender and class to follow one’s dreams.
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Photo: Louise Kennerley
“When I got the script and read it through several times I just burst into tears totally involuntarily. It’s about wanting to make the most of our time here in this world, squeezing the life out of every experience.