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Shirley Valentine - Cast Press Release

Woman standing outside in front of a Greek style bay


Pitlochry Festival Theatre presents the return of the award-winning



By Willy Russell

Directed by Elizabeth Newman

Performed by Sally Reid (Scot Squad, BBC Scotland)

  • The 2022 award-winning production of Shirley Valentine returns to Pitlochry Festival Theatre
  • Featuring Sally Reid (Scot Squad, BBC Scotland) who received the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2023 Outstanding Performance award for her performance in the 2022 Pitlochry Festival Theatre production of Shirley Valentine
  • Directed by Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman (Sunshine on Leith and A Streetcar Named Desire, Pitlochry Festival Theatre)
  • Runs at Pitlochry Festival Theatre from 4 July until 28 September 
  • Press performance on Wednesday 10 July at 2pm

Award-winning production of Shirley Valentine returns to Pitlochry Festival Theatre

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




For all press interviews and review tickets please contact Duncan Clarke PR: T 07880893750 or


Press performance: Wednesday 10 July at 2pm, Pitlochry Festival Theatre


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 




Eve perf at 7.30pm:

July: 4, 5, 9 & 20

August: 22 & 27

September: 3, 12, 20 & 27

Mat perf at 2pm:

July: 10 & 21

August: 23 & 28

September: 4, 13, 21 & 28


Access Performances

Audio Description 23 Aug 2pm, 12 Sep 7.30pm

BSL 21 Sep 2pm

Captioned 28 Aug 2pm


Ticket prices: From £15

Box Office and group bookings: 01796 484626

Address: Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Port-Na-Craig, Pitlochry, Perthshire PH16 5DR


Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh

12-29 June


Willy Russell – Playwright

As well as Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine, both of which were made into major award-winning feature films; playwright, lyricist and composer Willy Russell is the author of the long-running West End hit Blood Brothers. His other work includes John Paul George Ringo…& Bert, Stags and Hens, One for the Road, and Breezeblock Park. His writing for television includes Our Day Out and One Summer. Russell’s plays have been performed in many countries across the globe, winning countless awards as well as academic honours.


Pitlochry Festival Theatre. A Theatre for Everyone. A Theatre for a Lifetime.

Since 1951, Pitlochry Festival Theatre has been the artistic heart and soul of Highland Perthshire. Attracting over 100,000 visitors every year, we’re more than simply a place to come and see a show – we’re Scotland’s leading producer of musical theatre, a champion of ensemble practice and the country’s only rurally-located, major arts organisation.  Our vision is to improve lives by sharing Pitlochry with the world and the world with Pitlochry. Our aim is to create life-enhancing experiences in our Theatre and its glorious eleven-acre campus that encompasses the magical Explorers Garden. In everything we do, we are committed to nurturing an exciting creative and cultural future for Scotland.


Pitlochry Festival Theatre is supported by funding from Creative Scotland and Perth & Kinross Council. It is also grateful to the many individual donors, trusts and foundations who continue to support the Theatre in its vision.


Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Address: Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Port Na Craig, Pitlochry, Perthshire PH16 5DR
Box Office and group