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Setting the stage . . . Leading lady, and Oamaru Repertory Theatre president, Glenda Hagenson gets the set ready for Oamaru Repertory Theatre's upcoming show Shirley Valentine. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

Not all heroes wear capes – some wear aprons.

Since her debut in the 1989 film of the same name, Shirley Valentine has been a hero to many.

Known for leaving her inattentive husband and life of domestic servitude for dreams of travel, Valentine’s story is being brought to life in Oamaru Repertory Theatre’s upcoming one woman show.

Actress Glenda Hagenson said Valentine was someone a lot of women could relate to, and perhaps more men should try to empathise with.

“Follow your dreams, that’s what Shirley is about,” Hagenson said.

“There’s a bit of [her] in all wives.”

Hagenson could relate to Valentine’s story, especially when it came to her first marriage.

“I just felt like a housewife there to look after the kids and put food on the table.”

To Hagenson, Valentine’s story was about self awareness and not just being what society expected.

The Oamaru production was Hagenson’s fourth time playing Valentine, but it was her first performing the role in the South Island.

Although she knew the script well, performing alone did not come without challenges.

Audiences would follow the 42-year-old housewife as she threw her apron away for a more fulfilling life in Greece.

Set in the 1980s, the first act would take place in Valentine’s kitchen, as Hagenson posed life’s big questions to the audience. The second act would take Oamaru to the Greek Islands.

Shirley Valentine opens at the Oamaru Repertory Theatre on June 25 and runs until July 10.

Tickets are available from Rose’s General Store in Tyne St.