Playbill Viewing: Pauline Collins Reprised Her Tony-Winning Performance in the Film Adaptation of Shirley Valentine

Film & TV Features   Playbill Viewing: Pauline Collins Reprised Her Tony-Winning Performance in the Film Adaptation of Shirley Valentine
 
Written by playwright Willy Russell, the movie transforms the acclaimed one-woman show into a tender romantic comedy, co-starring Julia McKenzie and Tom Conti.

Shirley Valentine, playwright Willy Russell's solo show about a middle-aged housewife's sudden vacation to Greece and new contentment there, was a big success in the West End and on Broadway, where it ran for over 300 performances in the 1988–1989 season.

A one-woman show may not be the obvious choice for a film adaptation, but Shirley Valentine made the transition with ease—helped immensely by filming on location in Mykonos and by star Pauline Collins, who originated the role in the West End on Broadway and earned Olivier and Tony Awards. This time, Shirley wasn't just telling her story to the walls while home alone, but engaging in conversations with characters played by Joanna Lumley, Julia McKenzie, Tracie Bennett, and Tom Conti, as well as directly addressing the camera.

With a theme song by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and Marvin Hamlisch—titled "The Girl Who Used to Be Me"—Shirley Valentine's journey from trapped in suburbia to happily sipping wine on a beach may be what we all need during these self-isolation days and quarantine nights. Stream it now as part of Amazon's Prime Video

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