Willy with Pauline Collins and Tom Coast on the film set of Shirley Valentinebanner

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Lewis Gilbert

Enormously saddened to hear of the death of Lewis Gilbert.   Also highly conscious of what a great career and a great life Lewis had.   We had some fair old ding-dongs when we worked together but, artistic tussles aside, my abiding memory is of a warm, generous and charming man - one whose affable disposition and easy going manner sometimes belied his great skill, wealth of experience and deep knowledge of all aspects of the film business. 

 Lewis and Hylda were a fabulous couple and I still cherish the times we spent with them, both here and in France when myself, Annie and our (then) very young family enjoyed their marvellous hospitality and benefitted from their combined wisdom.

RIP  Lewis


Willy Russell

Shirley Valentine poster


Shirley alone with her thoughts

production shot of Pauline in the market

Pauline and Joanna Lumley

Shirley Valentine: The Play...

Read about Willy Russell's performance as 'Shirley' ...

Playing Shirley is such a pleasure...

Return to the PLAYWRIGHTS page...


Shirley Valentine
Paramount Home Entertainment (UK)
Cat No: PHE8445 - DVD

Shirley Valentine...

The Film

Commisioned by Paramount Pictures, produced by Lewis Gilbert & Willy Russell. The film of Shirley Valentine is released, starring Pauline Collins, Bernard Hill and Tom Conti, directed by Lewis Gilbert. Like the play, the film wins many awards including Baftas for its star and director and The Evening Standard Film Award for Best Screenplay.
The Screenplay

Written by Willy Russell including some of the score. Like Julie Walters in Educating Rita, Pauline Collins, who played Shirley on broadway, went on to play Shirley in the film. The film, when released in 1989, held the No.1 slot in the UK for five weeks.

Willy on set with Pauline Collins and Tom Conti

Lewis Gilbert with Pauline and Willy

Willy with Pauline and Tom

The cast
Bafta award Evening Standard Award - best Screenplay
Oscar nominated Golden Globe award

Cassette of Willy Russell narrating Shirley ValentineShirley Valentine
Audio Cassette
Laughing Stock
ISBN: 1-897774-86-9

The DVD of Shirley Valentine is available. As is an audio CD, with Willy Russell narrating.
The audio was recorded in 1994 at the Everyman Theatre.

An early scene from the film

Almost the final scene in the film when Joe comes to see Shirley