BWW Review: SHIRLEY VALENTINE Takes a Hilarious Leap into the Unknown at Terrific New Theatre

BWW Review:  SHIRLEY VALENTINE Takes a Hilarious Leap into the Unknown at Terrific New Theatre

Terrific New Theatre is offering a must see performance of the one woman play "Shirley Valentine" by Willy Russell. Actress Dolores Hydock delivers a cheerful performance with well crafted character nuances. Her consistent cadence is so friendly, it seems like Shirley is your old friend and you are having casual conversation over coffee. The play opens with the brassy Englishwoman sitting in her spacious kitchen in Liverpool, sharing anecdotes and thoughts with her usual conversation partner, the wall. Director Carl Stewart does a marvelous job setting up this exchange dynamic. The audience is hooked as Shirley casually sips on a glass of wine while spilling tales of her backstory. Each one aids to making you feel familiar, like you are old friends. Writer Willy Russell scripted descriptive, enthusiastic and emotional recalls of events and people in her life. Each story giving clarity to the life Shirley is living and the one she wants to live. Haddock flawlessly goes in and out of multiple characters in extended monologues with an effortless, natural presence. Hydock skills as a master storyteller add a striking level of relatability and honesty in the performance. She has a wonderful line, "I told myself I would leave when the kids grew up. The problem was when they did there was nowhere to go."

BWW Review:  SHIRLEY VALENTINE Takes a Hilarious Leap into the Unknown at Terrific New Theatre

She reflects on going from the trademarked rebellious teenager "Shirley Valentine" to a conforming housewife clutching to insecurity and regret. A light at the end of the tunnel arrives when her friend Jane offers Shirley a plane ticket to join her on a two week trip to Greece. This offer has created numbing distress with Shirley for she is torn on what to do. The tip to Greece becomes more than just a holiday. It is an affirmation of Shirley reclaiming the spark of the fantastic woman that she was, is and has yet to become. Shirley tackles her fear of the unknown and reflects on the fearless traits she exhibited in her younger years. There was a time when she felt as if she could conquer the world. Does that sound familiar to you? Everyone has their own moment of pure fearlessness as a kid. Just think back to yours and replay that for a second. Mine was at 10 years old climbing on top of Rolling Terrace elementary school to watch the sun set, dreaming about how wonderful it would feel to run and jump off flying into the orange sky. Temping as it was, the formula of me plus gravity equating to two broken legs kept my butt on the roof. That incredible feeling of invulnerability, that feeling of I can take on the world stayed with me. Shirley Valentine sparks your memory, drawing out that wonderful feeling. Hydock's flawless performance forges a connection to Shirley in her journey to grasp happiness.

BWW Review:  SHIRLEY VALENTINE Takes a Hilarious Leap into the Unknown at Terrific New Theatre

The play is in three acts, each building with Russell's engaging material. As the play moves forward Hydock brings hilarious observations on love, relationship, sex , intimacy and self love. Shirley is a woman reflecting on her life and making strides to not let negativity get in the way of her happiness. The hell with her age! She is grasping the reins the going back to living her life with boundless wonder.

BWW Review:  SHIRLEY VALENTINE Takes a Hilarious Leap into the Unknown at Terrific New Theatre

This play is a comical, engaging, and emotional journey provided by a gifted storyteller. Dolores Hydock taps into a vibrant kaleidoscope of characters and feelings to bring this wonderful script to life. Taking a metaphorical leap off the roof in life is a choice of uncertainty. And that's the point. Some may consider her old but Shirley Valentine is alive. She is ALIVE! Get out to enjoy her story before she finds soars off the rooftop.

Terrific New Theatre & Patty McDonald

Shirley Valentine

Written by Willy Russell

Directed by Carl Stewart

Starring Dolores Hydock

June 7 - 30 Thu/Fri/Sat 8pm (Sunday Matinees on June 10th & 24th)

Tickets $25

Terrific New Theatre - 2821 2nd Ave S. (at Pepper Place) Birmingham, AL For tickets and more info: terrificnewtheatre.com or (205) 328-0868

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