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Discussing Willy Russells 'Our Day Out'.

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English Coursework: Our Day Out The play "Our Day Out" in based around the remedial class of an inner city Liverpool comprehensive. The children are the bottoms of the heap; they are not blessed with a well off families to support them. The two main teachers are Mrs Kay and Mr Briggs who views contrast and contradict each other throughout the play. On this particular day the "remedial class" are of on a school trip hence the title "Our Day Out" to Conway castle in Wales though this is not the only place the children get to see, the play takes us to a variety of different places (due to the fact that it was written for television broadcast). Russell primary idea may seem just to produce a play that is entertaining and suitable for a television broadcast. Though Russell provides with slice of life realism. I t could have a certain biographical side to it for Russell grew up in a similar area in Liverpool. Although at some points in the play the way Russell writes may seem biased trying to perform our opinions but he actually writes from different viewpoints providing us with an actual insight into the play. Russell major themes throughout the play are poverty, the lack of education and opportunity available; the social and cultural depravation suffered from living in such an inner-city area. It questions the ethics of bad parenting. The scenes I have choossen to anylais have great dramic importance to the play they are Kay. It focuses on a major aspect of the play: the depravation of the children. It proves again to us the yearning of Carol and the attitudes of both teachers. It provides a valuable insight into the play. Mrs Kay firstly asks Carol why she does not and go and look round the castle. To this Carol relies "Miss, I don't like it. ...read more.


But is Mrs Kay right does nobody want them educating. Russell does not give us a different answer but is letting the audience make up their own minds. The basis of this conversation is what could be called one of the foundation block of this play because all the way though previous scenes we see Mrs Kay is not the kind of teacher that would teach us for example but someone who is just concerned about loving and mothering them and most importantly trying to make life as enjoyable as possible rather than educating them. Because Mrs Kay knows that they have no real future and that it is all planned out in front of them. But Russell is questioning whether it is because of their education ability that is stopping them or is it society that won't let them get anywhere. Because we know that Carol has this deepest despair to move up in life but can she? And if she can't what the reason why? Also we are aware that Mrs Kay knows that they are not going to get anywhere. We also know this due to other incidents like her and Carol on the coach talking about whether Carol could live in a "nice" house. Mr Briggs then in turn does not know what to say to this comment and replies with something that is not he option of what she says but only referring to it as "stuff". As he wants to run the trip his way. Mr Briggs seems like he is never going to change his views about the trip and when at the beach doesn't want anything to do with either Mrs Kay or the children as he sits on a rock away from the group. It isn't Mr Briggs attitude about the trip it is his general attitude with the children, which Mrs Kay Doesn't like. ...read more.


Mr Briggs can echo and be very load in comparison to the background noise. To start the distance between them should be large and decrease over the scene. There should be an awkward stiffness between them, with long pauses between lines. Also the camera must home in on the point that Carol keeps trying to edge away from Mr Briggs. Throughout this section of the scene the drop beyond the cliff must be apparent the camera must keep flashing between Carol, the drop and Mr Briggs. The danger of the situation must be made aware to the audience. When Carol says her line" Where it's nice" after she finishes the camera should switch position to behind Carol and also the audience must be able to see that Carol is looking out toward a "prettier" place unlike her home. At the point where Carol is very near the edge till the not where he hugs her should be dragged out almost in slow-motion. After the point where Carol smiles no more pictures of the drop should be shown just the closeness of Mr Briggs and Carol should be apparent. The shot of them at the end should be shown to look very interment and should be held fort as long as possible before the scenes change. After analysing the two scenes I have concluded that Russell intentions are to open the eyes of his audience most of whom will never of been in or even seen situation like the ones he wrote about. His techniques are very clever because he can still inform us and make us think twice about certain children and the hardships they suffer throughout the play though still entertain us. He can provide a slice of life drama without turning it into a fully biographic play. He can cleverly mix a comedy play with a tragedy one and it can still work. The audience can fit into the shoes of the characters his language and description captures the very essence of inner-Liverpool. Though still leave room for us to imagine asking questions discreetly without over powering us with thoughts. ...read more.

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