4 items from 2017
Shirley Valentine theatre review (UK Tour): Shirley gets lost in a moment and finds herself again.
Shirley Valentine theatre review by Katey Thompson at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, March 2017.
Willy Russell is known for writing about strong women; this play is no different and is the story of a woman from Liverpool, trapped with in a marriage where she can no longer identify with her old self. Asking herself ‘Where did Shirley Valentine go?’, she is rescued from her own limited existence by a friend Jane who pays for them both to take a 2-week holiday to Greece. This turns out be more than just any Mediterranean jaunt and becomes a journey of self-discovery. Shirley finds love and a new perspective on life with a Greek waiter Costas, whilst Jane has abandon her to find her own paradise.
The play is a monologue, the only other people on stage were the set dressers. »
- Katey Thompson
There is nothing like a dame, and at the grand age of 83, Dame Joan Collins is still nothing like one — not by the Queen’s definition of the term, at least. Yet with the British honours system having finally smiled on her, the erstwhile star of disco-era smutfests “The Bitch” and “The Stud” has belatedly decided to emulate Dame Judi, Dame Maggie and the “Best Exotic” club with a respectably genteel geriatric comedy of her own. Enter “The Time of Their Lives,” a likably lame rattletrap of a road movie that gets what limited spark it has from the “Dynasty” diva’s still-lascivious on-screen charisma.
As a pair of lonely pensioners thrown together by chance on an episodic Gallic escapade, the strutting star is agreeably paired up with long-neglected namesake Pauline Collins; Roger Goldby’s narratively lumpy film shamelessly cribs from the latter’s Oscar-nominated breakout “Shirley Valentine” in espousing »
- Guy Lodge
Despite solid work by Joan and Pauline Collins, this tale of a fading film star fails to fly
Joan Collins plays Helen, a self-absorbed former movie star who sees a funeral in France as an opportunity to network and undo past mistakes.
Pauline Collins revisits Shirley Valentine territory as Priscilla, the browbeaten wife whom Helen bullies into accompanying her. It’s a rickety Zimmer frame of a plot, but both actors deliver memorable turns in a largely forgettable film.
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- Wendy Ide
There is a creeping and depressing awfulness to this sentimental silver-years comedy, whose silly and twee style of humour and cardboard characterisation jar with its strained moments of attempted poignancy. It stars Joan Collins as the former movie star Helen, now washed up in a retirement home, who bamboozles an unhappy grandmother (Pauline Collins) into travelling with her to France for her ex-lover’s funeral. There, they have adventures with a gallant Italian artist (Franco Nero). Pauline Collins plays a next-gen variation on her Shirley Valentine persona, just as she did in a comparably terrible Brit film called Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War, from 2002. Writer-director Roger Goldby has a great track record in television and, incidentally, executive-produced Rebecca Johnson’s tremendous urban drama Honeytrap. »
- Peter Bradshaw
4 items from 2017
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