The award-winning actress and singer Sheridan Smith is returning to the West End to star in Willy Russell’s celebrated one-woman comedy play Shirley Valentine early in 2023.
The performances will run at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a 15-week limited West End season, starting from 17 February to 3 June.
Russell’s play was originally staged at the Everyman in Liverpool with Noreen Kershaw as Shirley.
The play follows the title character, a quirky Liverpudlian woman who feels lost in her marriage and occasionally talks to the kitchen wall whilst preparing her husband’s chips and egg. But Shirley also has a secret: she wants to visit Greece one day.
Will she just leave a note one day, saying “Gone! Gone to Greece”? Enjoy the show to find out!
Smith, hailed as The Greatest Theatre Star of her Generation by The Evening Standard, worked in theatre, film and television for over a decade and has received critical acclaim for playing roles in television dramas such as Mrs Biggs, Cilla, The C Word, Black Work and The Moorside.
“As a mum now myself I’m delighted to be playing theatre’s best-loved mum and I am honoured to be entrusted by Willy Russell to bring his Shirley to life once again in the West End. Now, to practice cooking chips and egg!”.
The producer David Pugh said:
“Back in 1986 I was lucky enough to see the first ever production of Shirley Valentine in Liverpool. I have begged Willy to one day let me produce a revival.”
Smith is a multi-award-winning actress with a BAFTA and two Olivier Awards who played in Little Shop of Horrors, Flare Path and Funny Girl. Matthew Dunster is a three-time Olivier Award nominated director whose work has recently been displayed on Broadway with Hangmen and in the West End with 2:22. Willy Russell is one of Britain’s greatest living dramatists known for works such as Blood Brothers and Educating Rita.
The designer is Paul Wills, lighting design is done by Lucy Carter, and sound design by Ian Dickinson for Autograph. The play is produced by David Pugh.