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Posts Tagged ‘Julie Walters’

Though not as successful as the same playwright’s Shirley Valentine, also in rep at the Menier, Willy Russell’s 1980 play gets a very welcome revival.

It occupies similar territory to SV – a young hairdresser seeking to break out of her entrapment, but this time through education. Each short scene constitutes a meeting with her Open University tutor at various stages of her journey. She falls for her new life and her new friends and he falls for her.

Laura Dos Santos is terrific as Rita, more believable than Julie Walters in the film because she is / seems younger and more impressionable. Larry Lamb seemed distracted on the night I went, which affected his performance, particularly in the first half.

The are too many short scenes, which leads in an episodic structure so that the play doesn’t flow as well as SV. Still, much to enjoy, again timeless, and well worth another trip to the Menier.

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