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Shirley Valentine returns to the Liverpool Everyman

Shirley Valentine is on her way back to the Liverpool Everyman.

Willy Russell’s desperate housewife will be talking to the wall at the Hope Street theatre in March next year.

Liverpool actress Helen Carter is set to take on the role in the one-woman play which has become a stage classic since it was premiered at the Everyman in 1986. It had been commissioned for the theatre's 21st birthday by the then artistic director Glen Walford.

Noreen Kershaw became Russell’s first Shirley, although the Whiston-born playwright famously understudied the role for three weeks after Kershaw was rushed into hospital in the middle of the run.

Pauline Collins went on to take the West End and Broadway by storm in the role, winning both Olivier and Tony Awards for her performance which was later immortalised on the big screen.

Carter, currently in Boys from the Blackstuff at Liverpool’s Royal Court, will be directed by Stephen Fletcher. Her previous appearances for the Everyman and Playhouse include The Flint Street Nativity, Dead Heavy Fantastic, Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi and A Christmas Carol.

Russell said today: "As it has done for so many writers, actors and directors in its 60-year history, the Everyman gave me my first opportunities as a writer.

"I can’t wait to work with Helen and Stephen on bringing the play back home and seeing Shirley strut her stuff across the boards on which she was born.”

Everyman and Playhouse chief executive Mark Da Vanzo said: “Bringing Willy’s celebrated Shirley home is the perfect end to our 60th birthday year.

"It's huge honour for us all to be working again with Willy after our revival of Educating Rita in 2015, and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate not just the Everyman’s past but look confidently to its future as well.”

Shirley Valentine is at the Liverpool Everyman from March 1-29, 2025. Tickets go on sale from noon on May 1. More information and tickets HERE


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