Willy Russell double-bill transfers to Trafalgar Studios

The Menier Chocolate Factory's revivals were a hit at the south London theatre this year. Both plays, running back to back, will transfer to the West End.

Educating Rita follows the relationship between a young Liverpudlian working-class hairdresser and Dr. Frank Bryant, a middle-aged University lecturer, during the course of a year. The production is directed by Jeremy Sams, with a cast made up of Tim Pigott-Smith (replacing Larry Lamb) and Laura Dos Santos.

Shirley Valentine covers a similar theme. Shirley is wondering what has happened to herself, now feeling stagnant and in a rut. She finds herself regularly talking to the wall while preparing her husband’s chips and egg. When her best friend wins a trip-for-two to Greece, she packs her bags without a second thought, leaves a note on the kitchen table, and heads for a fortnight of rest and relaxation. What she finds is romance and a new awareness of who she is and what her existence can be with just a little effort on her part.

Shirley Valentine is directed by Glen Watford and stars Meera Syal who reprises her role.

The season is being produced by David Babani for Choctolate Factory Productions and Sonia Friedman Productions, Tanya Link, Bob Boyett and Bob Bartner.

Previews from at Trafalgar Studios 1 from 8th July 2010 for a limited 16 week run.

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