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Shirley Valentine - Cast Announcement

“I have allowed myself to lead this little life when inside me there was so much more…”

Pitlochry Festival Theatre is set to welcome back its award-winning production of the much-loved comedy Shirley Valentine this summer. Willy Russell’s (Blood Brothers and Educating Rita) heart-warming story about a bored, middle-aged, wife in Liverpool, whose life is transformed after a holiday in Greece.

Originally staged in Pitlochry in 2022, the acclaimed production will once again feature television and stage actress Sally Reid who received the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2023 Outstanding Performance award for her performance in the title role of Shirley.

Directed by Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman (A Streetcar Named Desire and Sunshine on Leith, Pitlochry Festival Theatre), Shirley Valentine runs in Pitlochry from 4 July until 28 September.

Shirley Valentine is a celebration of what it means to find yourself again. Shirley’s children are all grown up and she’s stuck at home with only the kitchen wall to talk to. She seizes the opportunity to travel to Greece where she discovers the happiness she has been missing and then has to face the biggest decision of her life.

Shirley Valentine received its world stage première in Liverpool in 1986 before the play opened in the West End two years later, directed by Simon Callow, with Pauline Collins playing the title role, winning two prestigious Olivier Awards. A year later, the play transferred to Broadway in 1989 with Collins once again in the title role.

That same year, Shirley Valentine was made into a film and earned Collins a BAFTA Award and a nomination at the 1990 Oscars. The play became an overnight classic, with its contrast between the dull atmosphere of suburbia and the glittering glamour of Greece, which captured the imagination of a whole generation of theatregoers and cinema fans.

Reviving the title role of Shirley will be star of screen and stage Sally Reid. Best known for playing PC Sarah Fletcher in the hit BBC Scotland comedy series Scot Squad, Sally’s other television credits include Annika (UKTV), River City (BBC Scotland), Karen Pirie (ITV) and Rab C. Nesbitt (BBC Scotland). On stage, Sally’s extensive theatre credits in Scotland include Group Portrait in a Summer Landscape (Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh), The James Plays (National Theatre of Scotland), Rhinoceros (Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh) and Time and the Conways (Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Dundee Rep) for which she was nominated for Best Actress at the Theatre Management Awards in 2013.


Actress Sally Reid said:

“I am thrilled to be revisiting Shirley Valentine again for Pitlochry Festival Theatre as part of their summer programme. Playing Willy Russell’s pitch-perfect creation of a character renegotiating her life was a dream role for me to play, especially at a time which resonated so clearly in my own life and in the lives of so many of the women who came to see it, who I spoke to in the bar afterwards. I loved losing myself in that character and telling her story and I can’t wait to do it again. It’s not Greece, but summer in Pitlochry is just as special!”

Shirley Valentine is designed by Emily James (Tay Bridge, Dundee Rep), sound design by Patricia Panther (The Last Queen of Scotland, Dundee Rep, Stella Quines, and National Theatre of Scotland) and lighting design by Jeanine Byrne (A Streetcar Named Desire, Pitlochry Festival Theatre).

Shirley Valentine runs at Pitlochry Festival Theatre from 4 July until 28 September. Tickets are available from the Box Office on 01796 484626 or online at


Pitlochry Festival Theatre presents


By Willy Russell 

Directed by Elizabeth Newman 

Designed by Emily James

Sound design by Patricia Panther 

Lighting design by Jeanine Byrne

Stage Manager: Katy Nicolson 

Deputy Stage managed by Ruby Noble 

Assistant Stage Manager (floor): Nele Haehnsen 

Performed by Sally Reid 


  • Headshot of Sally Reid - she is wearing a blue jumper and had ginger curly hair.

    Sally Reid