ACTRESS Christine Moore loves her husband, her son and her profession, but can identify with that patron of itchy feet, Shirley Valentine.

That is not to say that Christine -- soon to open in the play Shirley Valentine at Bolton's Octagon Theatre -- is ready to ditch husband, Kevin Sadler or five-year-old Ben for a Greek adventure as her character does.

But she understands that feeling of getting to a certain age and wondering if enough has been achieved.

"I think there are aspects of Shirley Valentine that everyone will identify with," she said. "And that applies to both men and women. It is a matter of living your life as fully as you can and not wasting it. All of us think about where we want to go and where we want to be."

Where Christine is now is back in her native Manchester. Previously, she lived in London, but came back to her roots when her husband was made technical manager at The Lowry. Willy Russell's play is, unlike the film, a one-woman show.

Christine concedes that this can be both terrifying and exhilarating.

"It's just me sharing the stage with the audience," she said.

Although she has played Shirley Valentine before -- in 1989 at the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven -- Christine has little recollection of that production or the lines.

"I prepared for the Octagon rehearsals by learning the part thoroughly first," she said. "It was a hard thing to do, but I am glad I did it."

Christine says that the role is very tiring and mentally exhausing, but she will forget all that once she is on stage in front of an audience. She was only the fifth actress to play Shirley Valentine on stage before the hugely successful film starring Pauline Collins was released.

"I didn't go to see the film until after I'd played the part," she said.

The Liverpool accent then and now is no problem."All my father's family are from Liverpool, " she said. "All I've got to do is think of them talking."

After training at Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre, Christine's first professional job was at the Octagon in 1975 when she appeared in Puss in Boots.

She stayed for a further three plays. Last year she played Margaret in Victoria Wood's Pat and Margaret at the Octagon.

Most recently she co-starred as Matron in the highly acclaimed production of Be My Baby at the Soho Theatre in the West End. Among Christine's television roles were Ann Clemence in Brookside, Polly Flowers in Jonathan Creek and a leading part opposite actor Peter Egan in the Victorian Scandals series. The Octagon's theatre director Mark Babych directs Shirley Valentine which runs at the Octagon from September 7 to 30.