Bitter-sweet bid for happiness

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Halifax Thespians’ actress Julie Johnston returns to the stage at the Playhouse on Saturday (October 10) in Willy Russell’s bitter-sweet comedy ‘Shirley Valentine’.

Julie is a member of the Leeds-based company Just Happy to be Here which performs three or four times a year in venues as varied as Whitby Pavilion, The Evron Centre in Filey, The Arts Centre in Saltburn by the Sea, Frazer Theatre, Knaresborough, Highroyds Social Club, Menston and on occasion Moldgreen URC.

The company puts the emphasis on acting and dialogue, rather than the scenery, and take s its name from a love of performing - wherever that may be.

‘Shirley Valentine’ has become hugely successful both on stage and in film, proving to be a wonderfully funny, moving and uplifting story.

In the drama, middle‐aged Shirley Bradshaw (played by Julie Johnston) is a put upon and lonely mother and housewife, who on the spur of the moment decides to leave behind the drudgery of cooking egg and chips for her husband.

She packs her bags and heads for the Greek sun and in so doing brings adventure, self esteem and happiness into her life.

Julie has acted for many years with The Halifax Thespians, her most recent role being Mrs Wilberforce which she took over with only three weeks rehearsal. She has played a variety of roles

including Paulina in ‘Death and the Maiden’, Robin in ‘Me and My Friend’, Victoria in ‘The Threefold Cord’ and Alan Bennett’s ‘A Woman of no Importance’. Although acting is her main love she also helps to run The Playhouse as Business Manager and Bar Manager.

Her roles with Just Happy to be Here include Annabelle in ‘Snake in the Grass’, various roles in Ayckbourn’s ‘The Norman Conquests’ and the mother in ‘Paul’ written by Kay Mellor.

‘Shirley Valentine’ starts at 7.30pm. For ticket information call the box office on 01422 365998.