The relationship Shirley has with the minor characters is very different. She is lonely, that he is the main reason she is talking to the wall. Russell leaves the audience with his views on society which are shown through the character Shirley. The smell of chips cooking in the deep fat fryer drifted out into the stalls, cleverly setting the scene well for the tired, 1980s housewife who reminisces about her younger, carefree days not only as Shirley Valentine, but also the start of a married life that was full of promise. This gave Russell the perfect idea of how the common working class woman thought and helped him create the realistic working class character Shirley. This one song and opening credits helps us to come to the conclusion that this is the downfall of her life.
Russell could be trying to send out the message that we do not have to be upper class to live a satisfying life. This moment is vital to her transformation; and could be seen as a life changing decision. She is now Shirley Valentine. This is another example of Shirley using humour when she is really hurt. Shirley is a stifled middle aged woman, living in a typical urban area of Liverpool in 20th century London. This one kiss and meeting with a girl she once despised caused a complete downfall which affects the rest of the play. This is shown in the beginning scenes, when they are out having fun.
This proves she has gone through a vast change. In his first eighteen months schools loved his work and he decided that he was successful enough to do it fulltime. Peters reveals her inner strength in. The play has many differences and similarities to Kitchen sink dramas. She also explains what good it would do for Joe if he stayed with her in Mykonos. In flashbacks Shirley would be doing something and would drift off talking about something that had happened earlier on in the day or a previous day, so we would get all the background information, on what has been going on.
This shows that Joe is also lonely and stuck in the same dull routine as Shirley. It went onto Broadway during 1990, marking Willy Russell's Broadway debut. When Shirley first arrives in Mykonos she admires at the scenery and is filled with happiness. This production starred Pauline Collins, who like Julie Walters in Educating Rita, went on to play Shirley in the film version. Shirley goes to a Greek wedding with Costas, which is a very positive experience for her. We see her going through more new experiences, such as riding a scooter. In Voiceovers Shirley would express her true feelings about someone whilst they would be talking about the thing that Shirley is expressing her feelings about.
She is subservient to everyone she meets. An example of this is talking to the camera; this is very peculiar thing as it is not usually used in other plays. One of the flashbacks is of her early married life in where she and Joe are painting. Shirley Valentine at the end of the play has built up confidence and the ability to stand up for herself, for example when Joe travels all the way to Greece to collect Shirley Valentine, even though he absolutely detests traveling. Shirley does not want do go with them but they insist she does. Macbeth ends up killing his loyal King believing the witches prophecy. Shirley Valentine in Greece starts to get back to her old self, she tastes the freedom and she knows she can regain her old self again.
The flashback of Shirley in her school days shows us when Shirley becomes more rebellious. The first half of the play sees Shirley as a lonely but cynical, dependent human being. The social historical context is also from Russell, Russell coming from a working class background and him being born in Liverpool which is where half the play was set. In Liverpool Shirley wore boring clothes, and she represented the women of her era. Shirley really likes the wedding but has other things on her mind that are distracting her. Monologues are evidence for us that Shirley feels isolated but she also does so when she is contented.
We see that Shirley is assertive about change. Shirley Valentine would wear a school skirt as high as a serviette. They were once a regular couple but through this small flashback, we can see things have heavily changed. Russell, from a young age had the insight into the minds of women, living as a young boy in a house full of women, gave great time for the young Willy to become accustomed to the complex minds of women. She is now not wearing her usual drab colours, because she is not afraid to stand out the crowd. But when her best friend wins an all-expenses-paid vacation to Greece for two, she leaves the drudgery of cooking dinner for her husband, packs her bags and heads for the sun. Only Shirley engages in dramatic monologues which pushes her in front of all the other characters as she is feels closer to the audience.
The opening credits have a cartoon showing a woman Shirley doing household chores such as ironing and cleaning. Checks the content of her passport. Costas seems to be a very charming man. Also, not once did Willy Russell screen a picture of her not doing a household chore, moreover, this is further reflected by the use of contrasting colours, which expresses the mood. She compares scenes in her current life with what she used to be like and feels she's stagnated and in a rut. The main aspect of why the play is seen as a kitchen sink drama is due to the way Shirley conducts her life. This gives her even more confidence to stay in Greece and work for Costas.
One of the main themes is change, Russell explores and portrays this issue using several dramatic techniques, particularly flashbacks, stereotypes and contrast. Russell uses voiceovers to allow the character to speak over the action and dialogue of other characters, to speak out her true feelings and emotions to the audience. Her daily routine is cooking and running after her husband, Joe. She was a high-school rebel and now she's a housewife and mother who one day looks back at her life and realises that she has lost touch with her dreams. In the meeting they found out that they both wanted to be like each other. Finally, she is living the life she has dreamed of and rediscovered the self-confidence she has lost. Shirley's a middle-aged Liverpool housewife, who finds herself talking to the wall while she prepares her husband's chips 'n' egg, wondering what happened to her life.
Shirley found it easy to confront these two because she believes they do not appreciate life for what it is, and how good they really have things. When her best friend wins a magazine contest and asks Shirley to accompany her on a fortnight's holiday in Greece, Shirley begins a voyage of self-discovery. The monologue was originally performed by the actress Pauline Collins. Willy Russell uses voiceover to tell us of what she really is contemplating and not what comes out of her mouth. The dramatic technique is very effective as we are not left guessing like we are in other films. We see Shirley being very rebellious, like how she used to in her school years, when she agrees to go on a boat with Costas.