Jodie Prenger will star in the 30th anniversary production of Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine at Cardiff’s New Theatre


Willy Russell’s heart-warming comedy Shirley Valentine premiered in 1986 and took the world by storm. In celebration of its 30th Anniversary the first major revival of this national treasure has embarked on a UK tour which comes to Cardiff’s New Theatre from Tuesday 27 June – Saturday 1 July 2017. It stars the ever-popular Jodie Prenger as Shirley Valentine.

Jodie Prenger last visited Cardiff in 2016 with Tell Me on a Sunday and is best known for winning the role of Nancy in the West End production of Oliver! through the BBC television series I’d Do Anything. She also played the title role in the national tour of the musical Calamity Jane and has starred in One Man, Two Guvnors both in the West End and on tour and as Lady of the Lake in Spamalot. Jodie is also a regular presenter on BBC Radio 2.

In the comedy Jodie plays Shirley, a Liverpool housewife. Her kids have left home and she makes chips and egg for her husband while talking to the wall. Where has her life disappeared to? Out of the blue, her best friend offers her a trip to Greece for two weeks and she secretly packs her bags. She heads for the sun and starts to see the world and herself very differently.

Shirley Valentine is penned by Willy Russell. With a career spanning over four-decades he is undeniably one of the most successful playwrights of his generation. His plays, including Educating Rita, Blood Brothers (at the New Theatre in September 2017), Our Day Out and Shirley Valentine, have been performed across the globe and have won countless awards, they continue to be in constant production throughout the world. Shirley Valentine was adapted into an Oscar nominated film starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti.

Of the revival Willy Russell says; “It’s now thirty years since Shirley Valentine first walked onto the page, into my life and the lives of so many others. Shirley cooked her first meal of egg and chips on the stage of the Everyman Theatre Liverpool before then hoofing it down to London where along with the cooking and talking to the wall she started picking up the string of awards she’d win in the West End, on Broadway and in the film that earned both BAFTAs and Academy Award Nominations. When I was introduced to Jodie Prenger I knew in an instant that here was a formidable actress, one who possessed the grit and the warmth, the drive and the vulnerability, the energy and the heart to make Shirley Valentine really live again. How could any playwright resist that or deny the whole of the UK the chance to see Jodie bring Shirley to life?”

Shirley Valentine plays at the New Theatre from Tuesday 27 June – Saturday 1 July 2017 at 7.30pm plus Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm.  Tickets are from £10.50 – £31.00*. For further details and to book tickets visit or call the Box Office on (029) 2087 8889.