Shirley Blake was born on 12 November, 1971 in Birżebbuġa. She was an Actress.
At a younger age of 16 she gets her first training gained initial theatre experiences with Politeatru theatre school & company between 1987 and 1993.
From 1987-1988 attended the theatre school of Politeatru and participated in various workshops in voice/dictiontraining, improvisation, mime, Stanislavski & Brecht acting techniques, history of the theatre, movement and physical theatre. 1988-1993 acted and also did backstage work for various plays produced by Politeatru theatre group.1993-1995 has completed a 3 year course in Acting from MTADA (Manoel Theatre Academy of Dramatic Arts, Malta) specializing in various theatre styles ranging from classic to contemporary.
2005-2006 has obtained a Diploma in Acting Skills and Dramatic Arts from LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, UK).
Shirley was involved in serverals classicals production of international playwrights such as Lux et Tenebris & Rifles of Senora Carrar by Brecht, Enemy of the People & Lady of the Sea by Herik Ibsen, Hecuba & The Bacchae by Euripides, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, Fuente Ovejuna by Lope de Vega, Dolore sotto Chiave by Edoardo de Filippo, Paduk and the Prostitute by Brecht, Hell from the Divine Comedy by Dante, Tartuffe & Don Juan by Moliere,La Mandragola by Niccolo Macchiavelli, Fools by Neil Simon, Nuts by Tom Topor, Play by Samuel Beckett, The mind with the dirty man by Jules Tasca, God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza.
And also involved in Shakespeare plays in Maltese produced by Mario Micallef with Talenti in the National Manoel Theatre:- Merchant of Venice(Jessica), Macbeth (witch), The two gentlemen of Verona (Julia), King Lear (Cordelia), Twelfth Night (Viola)
Other prodactons that Shirley taken part and was highlights of her careree one could named:-
1989 – took part in a play in Hamburg and Berlin (Germany) called Over the wall by [James Saunders]] in celebration of the demolition of the Berlin Wall event,which took place a few months earlier(organized by Lyceum Youth Theatre).
1991 – was invited along a group of actors by the Soviet Cultural Centre to perform Can original work in various small theatres/venues in Moscow. The play chosen was called The Idiot King by Salvu Pirotta,directed by Mr Narcy Calamatta.
1998 – performed an original black comedy play called No More pickled onions at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, in Liverpool, U.K.
2006 – directed a play for the MADC one-act play festival Two women and a chair by Michael Olsen and was nominated for best director and best production.
Shirley also got experiences with many theatre group
1999 – 2005 together with two fellow actors she founded a new theatre group called Faces and together we have experimented, devised, produced and acted in the following original plays:-
No more pickled onions – by Anthony Portelli (won a second runner up award during a one-act play competition & performed also in UK) at MITP theatre.
Best before end – by Anthony Portelli (MITP theatre), Up Helly-Aa – by Anthony Portelli (performed during Summer Drama Fest 2003) (Drama Unit theatre programme), Earwigs – by Brian Turner (performed during Summer Drama Fest 2005)(St James Cavalier theatre)
In 2010 – founded a new theatre group called Troupe 18:45, and produced and acted in these plays :-
2010 – Widow of Ephesus – adaptation by Joseph Debono. Play was performed in Latin at the University of Malta for Evenings on Campus and we were also invited by his Excellency the President of Malta to perform the play at the President's Palace at San Anton Gardens for his distinguished guests.
2012 – 9 Parts of Desire by Heather Raffo performed at the St James Cavalier in Valletta in collaboration with Human rights NGO Aditus. Ms Heather Raffo attended all performances and had a Q & A session with the audience after each performance.
Shirley also got TV experience and worked in such Maltese teleseries like Gizelle - produced by 4 People, Tlieta kontra Tlieta - produced by Lino Farrugia, D.R.E.A.M.S – produced by Rewind Productions, Is-Sinjura tal-Baħar – directed by Josette Ciappara
Shirley also got other media related experience likeVoice-overs for T.V. & radio advertisements and educational campaigns.