‘Shirley Valentine’, Willy Russell’s hilarious comedy, is coming to Westport Town Hall Theatre from the 25-27th November 2021. This heart-warming and critically-acclaimed play tells the story of a stuck-in-a-rut housewife who takes the chance to taste freedom and adventure on a holiday in Greece. Her children have grown and her marriage is stale. She is fed-up with her run-of-the-mill existence as a middle-aged housewife who only talks to the wall. Shirley has just been given a chance to go abroad for the first time in her life. Just thinking about this trip of a lifetime has caused her to re-evaluate her youth, her marriage and motherhood. In this play, the audience joins Shirley in her kitchen for a good gossip, a good laugh and maybe a little tear in this clever, heart-warming comedy.
This amateur production, as well as being a terrific night’s entertainment, is being held as a fundraiser for the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation. This charity funds and delivers specialist home nursing and end-of-life care for children from birth to six years of age who have highly complex or life-limiting medical conditions. Jack & Jill support 402 families throughout Ireland, including 6 families in Mayo and 9 families in Sligo. Each ticket to the show, which costs €20, will help fund in-home nursing support, with all proceeds being donated to the charity.
The title role of Shirley will be performed by local talent Colette McGinty who is no stranger to the stage. Colette’s recent ventures on stage have been in darkly comic roles, having played Maureen Folan in ‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane’ by Martin McDonagh with St. Patrick’s Drama Group and Joan Smiley in Peter James’ ‘The Perfect Murder’ with Balla Drama Group. Colette is looking forward to embracing a lighter side of comedy in this one-woman show, “It has been great fun getting to know Shirley over the last few months. The script is an absolute gem – funny, thought-provoking and moving. Every rehearsal shows another side to the character and it has been great to get to play such a bubbly, witty character.”
The play is directed by Alanna Barrett. Alanna has been involved with drama her whole life but in recent years has stepped into the role of director and producer. Alanna is a founding member of Castlebar Musical and Dramatic Society and directed their first three musicals,plays and sketch shows around Mayo and Sligo.
Directing ‘Shirley Valentine’ has been a dream of Alanna’s and she is delighted that it is being realised with this production:
“I love this play and this character. The script will resonate with anyone who has ever felt a little stir-crazy trapped in a humdrum life – something I think we’ve all experienced over lockdown in the last 18 months! Shirley speaks her mind and speaks truth and I think audiences will find that hysterical and touching.”
Alanna also has another reason to be excited about this production. As a mother to a little girl with complex needs, she is full of praise for the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation who have supported her family since 2018: “It is wonderful to be able to run this play as a fundraiser for Jack & Jill. When my husband and I brought our little girl home from a long stay in Crumlin Children’s Hospital, Jack & Jill came into our lives and introduced us to our wonderful nurse, Trish. Having a qualified nurse available to mind our beautiful daughter Nóra has made all the difference in the world to our family.”
Carmel Doyle, CEO of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation commented:
“I’ve no doubt that this theatre production of ‘Shirley Valentine’ will spark some much-needed joy and laughter for the audience. We’ve all felt like talking to the wall throughout this pandemic! I want to thank and applaud Alanna, Colette and all the crew for choosing Jack & Jill as their charity partner and for showcasing and raising funds for our home nursing care support for children locally. Your time and your talent are very much appreciated and from our crew to yours thank you and ‘break a leg!’”
Tickets are on sale now from Westport Town Hall Theatre box office and can be purchased on their website www.westporttheatre.com or by calling 098-28459.
Tickets cost €20 and each ticket will help buy the gift of time for families of children with complex medical needs in communities across Mayo and Sligo.
For further information, please contact us at [email protected].