Classic comedy will tomorrow return to Reps Theatre when a play titled Shirley Valentine will be staged by the Repertory Players.
The show, which will run until August 13, is directed by Zane Lucas and will be starring one of Reps’ finest actresses, Fiona Garrity.
“This is a one character play taking the form of a witty monologue by a middle aged, working class Liverpool housewife, with a focus on her life before and after a transforming holiday in Greece,” said Reps chairman of marketing and publicity, Stan Higgins.
Higgins said the woman, Shirley Valentine, wondering what has happened to herself, now feeling stagnant and in a rut, finds herself regularly talking to the wall while preparing her husband’s chips and egg.
He said when her best friend wins a trip for two to Greece, she packs her bags, leaves a note on the kitchen table and heads for a fortnight of rest and relaxation.
What she finds is romance and a new awareness of who she is and what her existence can be with just a little effort on her part.
“The play was premiered in Britain in 1986 and was made into an award-winning film in 1989, starring West End leading actress Pauline Collins, and it was first staged at Reps in 1993, with Dawn Parkinson in the title role,” said Higgins.
He said the new actress in the role, Garrity, was one of Zimbabwe’s most accomplished actresses.
He said Garrity had featured in a wide range of productions at Reps since the early 80s
and amongst her great successes were musicals like The King and I and Nunsense, comedies such as Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound and dramas such as Shadowlands and Doubt.
“She has won Reps Afids Awards (and Reps BAT Awards before that) for best supporting actress four times and best actress five times, most recently for last year’s production of Hay Fever, which was also directed by Zane Lucas,” said Higgins.
He said earlier this year Garrity appeared in Humble Boy in Theatre Upstairs — a highly acclaimed production that earned her further commendations.
Higgins said Zane Lucas had also become one of Zimbabwe’s most respected directors and was the winner of Reps’ best director award for 2010 for Hay Fever and he had been an actor and director for many years.
He was a leading member of the Over The Edge theatrical group and has been the driving force behind the Theory X theatrical initiative.
“Earlier this year he directed a critically acclaimed production of the American musical, Rent, at Reps,” he said.
Higgins said although Shirley Valentine would open tomorrow night, a preview night would run tonight where pensioners may watch for free.
He said performances would be run each night for the whole week except on Sunday and Monday and an additional matinee performance would be at 2.30pm on Saturday.