Theatre in Liverpool

Liverpool Everyman Celebrates 60th Year with Revival of Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine 

Willy Russell’s one-woman show, Shirley Valentine, comes home to the Liverpool Everyman as part of the theatre’s 60th birthday celebrations from 1st to 29th March 2025. Originally commissioned and staged by the Everyman, the role of Shirley will be played by Liverpool actor Helen Carter in a revival directed by Stephen Fletcher. 

Willy Russell is one of the most celebrated and widely produced writers of his generation, with works regularly produced across the globe. Willy has had a long association with the Everyman, with his breakthrough as a writer coming in 1974 with John Paul George Ringo… & Bert, which transferred to the West End and won numerous awards. Further stage plays at the Everyman included Breezeblock Park (1975) and Stags and Hens (1978). After huge international success with Blood Brothers and Educating Rita, he returned to the Everyman in 1986, with the iconic Shirley Valentine

On announcing the news, Willy Russell said: “I’m delighted to be back at the Everyman, a theatre that holds a special place in my heart. As it has done for so many writers, actors and directors in its 60-year history, the Everyman gave me my first opportunities as a writer. I can’t wait to work with Helen and Stephen on bringing the play back home and seeing Shirley strut her stuff across the boards on which she was born”. 

Mark Da Vanzo, CEO for the theatres added: “Bringing Willy’s celebrated Shirley home is the perfect end to our 60th birthday year. It’s a huge honour for us all to be working again with Willy after our revival of Educating Rita in 2015, and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate not just the Everyman’s past but look confidently to its future as well”. 

Shirley Valentine is a life-affirming story of one woman’s journey of self-discovery, laughter, and liberation. Shirley once had a zest for life, but at 42 is left with an empty nest, an emotionally distant husband and only ‘the wall’ for company. When her best friend offers the trip of a lifetime to Greece, can Shirley’s dreams of a life less ordinary finally come true? 

Playing Shirley, Liverpool actor Helen Carter has numerous stage credits for the Everyman and Playhouse, including The Flint Street Nativity, Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi, No Wise Men, The Star, A Christmas Carol and Dead Heavy Fantastic. She has most recently appeared at Liverpool’s Royal Court in Boys from the Blackstuff, soon to be seen at the National Theatre. 

Stephen Fletcher has previously worked with the Everyman and Playhouse as an Artistic Advisor, and as an actor in Dead Heavy Fantastic, A Streetcar Named Desire and Eric’s. An Associate Writer on The Hook for Spiegelworld in Atlantic City, Associate Director on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at The Lido 2, Paris, Stephen has also worked extensively at Liverpool’s Royal Court as a writer and director. He has previously performed in three Willy Russell plays, Breezeblock Park, Our Day Out and Stags and Hens, and alongside Helen in The Last 5 Years and Dead Heavy Fantastic

Originally commissioned for the Everyman for the theatre’s 21st birthday, by the then Artistic Director Glen Walford, Shirley Valentine opened in March 1986 with Noreen Kershaw in the title role and Glen directing. The show enjoyed huge success with an extended run. 

Shirley Valentine will be on general sale from midday on Wednesday 1 May (priority booking from midday on Friday 26 April), with tickets priced from £10 to £40. A programme of accessible performances and extra events are to be announced in July. For further information and to book, visit 

Millions have seen the movie, now see the one-woman tour de force on which the film was based. 


Founder and Editor, Clare Deane, shares her passion for all the amazing things happening in Liverpool. With a love of the local Liverpool music scene, dining out a couple of times a week and immersing herself in to all things arts and culture she's in a pretty good place to create some Liverpool Noise.

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