Julie Walters

Shirley Valentine/Educating Rita, Trafalgar Studios, London

Willy Russell's scabrous Scousers, Shirley Valentine (Saint Joan of the fitted kitchen units, with all her nosy-neighbour voices) and hairdresser Rita of the Open University, are still going strong after a quarter of a century. They are now as engraved in the national consciousness as Maggie May, resilient streetwalker of the Liverpool docks, or the battling socialist MP Bessie Braddock. This Menier Chocolate Factory transfer, for a summer season at the Trafalgar Studios, presents Russell's two plays in all their wit and vivacity.