Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Shirley Valentine

On Wednesday evening I watched a BBC television programme called Movie Connections. Only just watched, as it happened. Because on Wednesday morning, my friend Roy Brown, who, when he isn't being an actor and a singer, is a builder, came to mend my roof and my guttering. I have Sky TV, with - natch - Sky Plus, and unbeknownst to Roy, during his stirling efforts, something must have happened to my Sky dish. So, when I turned on the television for the news, nothing happened. The upshot was that the nice Sky man on the end of the phone, after taking me through the requisite checks, confirmed that I needed an engineer. Meanwhile, how do I survive without the, admittedly small, amount of TV I normally watch?
DS1 (writers' parlance for Dear Son One, namely, Miles) to the rescue. He plugged various cables into different sockets, re-programmed the television, and Lo! I could receive terrestrial TV.
And there it was. Movie Connections on Shirley Valentine. How peeved I was that I hadn't been able to Sky Plus it for perpetuity. For twice, over ten years ago now, I played Shirley. As someone on the programme said, it was the defining moment and the greatest role any actress could ever have. Forget Lady Macbeth, this is the one. More people came up to talk to me in Tesco than ever before. "That was me, you know," they all said. And it was. There is a greater truth in Shirley's story than there ever was in that sad woman forever washing her hands.
I shall be forever grateful to my friend Judith, who cast me in the role and whose birthday party I shall attend next week, for giving me the greatest chance ever. And for anyone who has never seen it - at least rent the DVD!


Jane Henry said...

I love Shirley Valentine. Can't remember whether I've ever mentioned this before, but I could have gone to see Willy Russell playing her at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre for a £1!! I never got round to it, and have kicked myself ever since! I think he gets inside women's heads so brilliantly/. I also love Educating Rita.

Lesley Cookman said...

You did tell me. Miles bought me the live recording of that, too, which was stolen from my car. Grrr.