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Friday, June 25, 2010


Sharleen shines as Shirley Valentine. (Review by Thomie Holtzhausen)

Hennie van Greunin’s amazingly effective translation of Willy Russel’s Shirley Valentine into “Cape Cockney” provides for a highly entertaining theatre piece in Afrikaans. The story about a woman trapped in her everyday life is known to us, has been staged, filmed and even copied in many versions.

The minimalist décor consists of a table, two chairs and a kitchen counter doubling up as a bar counter.

It is the translation and the superb acting by Ms Surtie-Richards that transforms the piece into a fresh, new and highly entertaining show. Seldom do translations work. This one does to the extent that it becomes its own play, almost as if originally written for Shaleen. Strangely, the fact that the performer was making use of a microphone that wasn’t always functional did not detract from the performance. Shaleen is loved, admired and adored because her energy radiates into our hearts. - Thomie Holtzhausen