Shirley Valentine is a play by Willy Russell, first staged in 1986. It is a one-woman show, narrated by the title character; it appeared in the West End in 1988.
Russell adapted the script into the screenplay for the 1989 film of the same name which starred Pauline Collins in the title role.
Shirley is an ordinary housewife in Liverpool, northern England. Now married to Joe Bradshaw, and with adult children, she realises that her life has become one of routine, thanks largely to the expectations placed on her by her family. She resolves to break with the monotony by fulfilling a dream of flying to Greece for a vacation. Leaving her husband a note to explain where she has gone, and a large number of frozen meals, she takes off.
In Greece she has a holiday romance with a local restaurant owner, named Costas, and feels freedom. She stays on in Greece after the end of the vacation, not for him (he has already moved on to a new romance) but for the life. She finds her home-cooking skills in demand by the British tourists. Joe goes to Greece to talk to her and that's where the film ends.