Shirley Valentine

Vivienne McKee stars as Shirley Valentine in this witty comedy about a fun-loving woman trapped in “lockdown“ dull domesticity. Married to an unthinking husband and distanced from her selfish grown-up children, Shirley is forced to talk to a wall for company.

We meet her in the prison of her kitchen where she is cooking supper for her husband. She keeps the blues at bay with a bottle of wine and her infectious wit. What follows is an odyssey, a voyage of self-discovery, as she takes the “wall” into her confidence and relates hilarious anecdotes of her youth, motherhood and marriage. Suddenly she reveals that she has been offered a chance to escape her routine existence. But what would happen if she dares to break out and find her true self ?


95 minutes plus interval. 

Playing at 
Teatret ved Sorte Hest
Vesterbrogade 150
Copenhagen V  

Nov 29th - Dec 15th 2024 

Reviews 2022

Download full program:

The Copenhagen Post ★★★★★★

”One of the funniest, most charming and touching plays you’ll ever likely to encounter in these parts”

Kulturkupeen ★★★★★

”Suveræn Vivienne McKee. Teater for alle”

Scenekanten ★★★★★

”En forestilling der handler om livet på smukkeste vis”

CPHCulture ★★★★★

”Hun har simpelthen aldrig været bedre”

Morten Buckhøj ★★★★★

”En smuk hyldest til kærligheden til livet”

Kulturtid ★★★★★

”Hun favner figuren fantastisk. Ubetalelig komisk timing”

Kulturinformation ★★★★★

”En pragtpræstation, der siger spar to”

Out & About ★★★★★

“Vivienne McKee lever Shirley Valentine fuldt ud”

Frederiksborg Amts Avis ★★★★

”Utrættelig optimisme på scenen. Stor charme”

A word from the director

Shirley Valentine is a joyful call to grab our courage and embrace our dreams. Trapped at home, cooking egg and chips for her husband, Shirley wonders what has happened to young woman she used to be. She yearns for a more exciting life but doubts that she has the courage, or even the right,to pursue her dreams.

This isn’t a classic play for no reason. Masterfully written by Willy Russell, one of Britain’s best loved writers, known for his portrayal of working class Liverpudlian life, Shirley Valentine is honest, funny and moving – an inspiring call to live your life to its’ full potential. 
There’s a growing visibility of older women in life and the arts.  First performed in 1986, the piece is a reminder of how far women have come and how much further we have to go.  It’s still the case women tend to bear the burden of child rearing and home making to the detriment of their own dreams and wellbeing. 
But the sense of having lost a part of ourselves in the day to day demands of life is universal. 
Especially right now, when the impacts of Covid have led many of us to look again at our lives. Just like Shirley we’re asking questions about what really matters. After two years of restrictions we are all yearning for the freedom, travel and adventure that Shirley embarks upon making Shirley Valentine is the perfect antidote to the (post?) pandemic blues.
Drawing on her depth and sophistication as an actor as well as her celebrated comedic talents, Vivienne McKee brings her personal spirit of adventure to this iconic role and I am really looking forward to return to Copenhagen and work with her and Shirley.
Helen Tennison


Shakespeare's Ghost

Between 1998- 2004 Helen performed in six Crazy Christmases as well as other London Toast shows, including Willy Russel’s Educating Rita. Since then she has turned her hand to directing winning multiple awards. She has worked at Shakespeare’s Globe, directed numerous times for Midsummer Scene Shakespeare Festival in Croatia and taken work to Bermuda Festival, Stockholm Festival and Vienna’s English Theatre as well as numerous UK venues and festivals in including Theatre Royal Winchester, Soho Theatre and Grimeborn Festival of New Opera.. Her recent production ‘Everything I See I Swallow’ which won an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, featured aerial rope and examined intergenerational feminism. Her production ‘Dirty Corset’ won a WOW award at the Bergan Fringe in 2021 and is currently playing in London. 

From 2015-17 Helen ran the Two Year Acting Course at Drama Studio London and has led numerous theatre projects within the community, in prisons and young offenders institutions. As part of the Belgrade Theatre Community department Helen lead theatre projects for the youth theatre, young refugees, older people and workshops in theatre for confidence and good mental health.  She has just completed her post as Artist in Residence at The University of South Florida.

Helen is Associate Artist at the Bathway Theatre, she is Associate Lecturer in Shakespeare at Goldsmiths University and is currently writing a chapter in staging Shakespeare for Bloomsbury, Arden, to be published in 2023. She is writing a community play about Alzheimers for ArtsUplift and is developing an immersive solo performance ‘Doggerland’ about Britain, Europe and Brexit supported by Het Zuidelijk Toneel, Netherlands.

Listen to Radio Ronkedor podcast

Listen to this podcast to hear Vivienne McKee and Søren Hall tell about the 2022 production of SHIRLEY VALENTINE at Teatret ved Sorte Hest and about more about 40 years of bringing British theatre to the Danish stages:

Shirley Valentine 2022 - pressemeddelelse

Click here: Shirley Valentine 2022 - pressemeddelelse