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How would you stage a production of Shirley Valentine(TM) to show the change in Shirley Valentine from act 1 to act 2?

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Introduction

The play 'Shirley Valentine' is the maiden name of Shirley Bradshaw and was written by Willy Russell who is a well-known play writer with films such as 'Educating Rita', 'Our Day Out', and the musical 'Blood Brothers'. His work attracted huge and appreciative audiences all over the world and his plays and musicals have won countless awards, 'Shirley Valentine' was written and performed in 1986 which means the play is based on life in the 1980s and will give the people a insight into the life working class women. Life in the 1980s for both women and men in Liverpool was often depressing and boring. 'Shirley Valentine' was set in Liverpool to enable Russell to explore real life issues and situations. There had been a massive job loss in the area and so many men (in many families men were the sole breadwinners) were unemployed and were desperate to find jobs, which put stress on many families due to the lack of income. Women were supposed to cook, clean the house and look after the children, which was also very typical for 1980s women across the country. Women were expected to do all the house work, cooking and cleaning and be an ideal housewife. ...read more.

Middle

I have chosen these three items because I feel they play an essential part in Shirley's life. The wall is most important as she shares a communicating relationship with it, "what's he like wall?" Asking the 'wall' questions shows that she has got no-one else to talk to and no-one will listen to her therefore the 'wall' is her only true friend. Also she looks at the wall as if it is a real person who understands her sorrows and feelings and although the wall doesn't understand what she is saying she feels protected by it from the outside world like it is a barrier from her dreams, and feels comfortable with it. The glass of wine can represent as a medicine for Shirley because she drinks it to calm herself down or drift herself away from the miserable life she is living to her dream world in Greece, "its nice. Wine. It's like its been kissed by the sun.", which relates to the luxurious life she is waiting for filled with love and passion like wine. I would place it on the table next to the bottle of wine, so she can fill it up when it finishes and so it is visible to the audience. ...read more.

Conclusion

I used to be your wife. But now, I'm Shirley Valentine again. Would you like to join me for a drink?" meaning that she has returned to original self and knows she has. After watching the play 'Shirley Valentine' the effect on the audience would be to show that if a person wants to fulfill a dream they can do it if they try and put themselves first. It also shows that there is so much in life to discover other than just sitting at home being bored. I think my production of 'Shirley Valentine' will be successful as I feel that I have portrayed the character and circumstances of Shirley in a way which an audience could relate to. However, my play would have been more successful in the 1980s than the twenty-first century because I think the audience would relate more closely to the themes of the play, since may of them will have lived a similar life to Shirley Valentine, whereas most women of the twenty-first century have a career and life of their own. On the other hand, many women can still relate to Shirley's predicament so my production of 'Shirley Valentine' will still be successful and relevent. ?? ?? ?? ?? How would you stage a production of 'Shirley Valentine' to show the change in Shirley Valentine from act 1 to act 2? Tasnim Anjum ...read more.

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