Mina Anwar to Star in New Production of Shirley Valentine

Mina Anwar to Star in New Production of Shirley Valentine

The Octagon Theatre are delighted to announce they will be staging a brand-new production of Willy Russell’s comedy, Shirley Valentine, in February 2020, directed by Artistic Director Lotte Wakeham.

Starring Mina Anwar as the frustrated housewife looking to escape her small town life, it comes to the Library Theatre, Bolton from Mon 10 – Sat 29 February 2020 and tickets on sale from Wed 4 December 9.30am.

From the writer of Blood Brothers and Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine is the critically acclaimed romantic comedy about a stuck-in-a-rut housewife who leaves her troubles (and husband) behind, and seeks adventure on a holiday to Greece.

A heart-warming play of self-discovery, it transferred to the big screen in 1989’s Oscar nominated film starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti.

In the title role of Shirley is star of stage and screen, Mina Anwar. Mina’s credits include her breakthrough TV role as PC Maggie Habib in both seasons of BBC One’s sitcom The Thin Blue Line. She also originated the role of Ray in acclaimed musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield and its West End Transfer.

Other credits include: Coronation Street, ITV, Shameless, Channel 4, The Sarah Jane Adventures, BBC, Doctor Who, BBC and Life of Pi, Sheffield Crucible Theatre.

Mina Anwar comments on the production: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been asked to play Shirley Valentine and work with the brilliant Lotte Wakeham. It’s exciting to make my debut for the Octagon with this absolute gem by Willy Russell. This monologue is a wonderfully rich treasure and I can’t wait to get started”. 

Shirley Valentine will be the final production ahead of the Octagon’s town centre building reopening after a multimillion pound redevelopment. The building is set to be completed in spring 2020 with a series of opening celebrations over the summer and the first full production in the autumn.

Lotte Wakeham comments: “Ahead of the reopening of the Octagon next year, I am extremely excited to bring a brand new production of Shirley Valentine to Bolton audiences, in the intimate setting of Bolton’s Library Theatre, following our very popular season there this autumn.  I’m delighted to have Mina on-board to play Shirley – she is a tremendously gifted actor and one of the great comic talents of her generation.  I for one cannot wait to see her bring this iconic character to life.”

As the redevelopment enters the final stages, Artistic Director Lotte Wakeham can exclusively reveal a new Linbury Prize production that will feature in her opening season.

The Octagon will be producing the regional premiere of Vinay Patel’s acclaimed play, An Adventure, in a brand new Linbury Prize-winning production.  This will be first time the play has been seen outside of London. 

The Linbury Prize is the UK’s most prestigious award for Stage Design – providing a unique opportunity for graduating designers to work with professional theatre, dance and opera companies. The winner will be announced at the National Theatre this evening, securing a commission to design the set and costumes for An Adventure

This captivating drama spanning seven decades and three continents is an epic, technicolour love story from one of the country's most promising young writers, whose credits include writing for Doctor Who.

Octagon Theatre Artistic Director, Lotte Wakeham said: Excitement is really building as we edge closer to the re-opening of the Octagon, and I am thrilled to announce that An Adventure will form part of our opening season.

I cannot wait to share details of the full season with our audiences in the New Year, which will include something for everyone, including our annual family festive show, which promises to appeal to our loyal existing audiences as well as attracting new audiences to the venue.”

The Octagon will re-open in 2020. The full season and on-sale dates will be announced in early 2020.

Shirley Valentine will be playing at the Library Theatre, Bolton between Mon 10 – Sat 29 February 2020.

Tickets on sale Wed 4 December