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'Our Day Out' - Choose three incidents in the play, which you consider to be comic. Show how Russell has created good comedy out of the characters, events and dialogue in your chosen scenes.

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'Our Day Out' By Ben Gowland Choose three incidents in the play, which you consider to be comic. Show how Russell has created good comedy out of the characters, events and dialogue in your chosen scenes. In this assignment I am going to look at the ways in which Willy Russell has created humour within the play 'Our Day Out'. I will pay particular attention to the characters, their dialogue and the events that take place Willy Russell was born in a town near Liverpool, he left school at fifteen with no idea what he wanted to do and nothing but an O'level in English. 'Our Day Out', 'Blood Brothers' and 'Educating Rita' are a reflection of Russell's own experience of education. At the age of twenty Russell decided to resume his education, he enrolled as a mature student at Liverpool's Childwall college as a mature student While studying he saw a play called 'Unruly Elements' by John McGrath and decided to become a playwright. His first successful play was called 'John, Paul, George, Ringo and...Bert' It was a musical about the Beatles and was performed at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre. ...read more.


If I was directing this event I would try to outline the comical side as much as possible, it would look funnier if you could see the children on one side and the bus driver on the other. So while Mrs Kay is telling the bus driver that the children are deprived. The children can be seen eating, drinking and laughing on the bus. This could be achieved by put a screen between the two acts, or possibly a bus stage prop with the children eating and drinking in the background while Mrs Kay is talking to the bus driver. The second comical incident starts in scene fourteen, the kids are getting off the coach on to a motorway lay-by. Although Mrs Kay doesn't mind the way the kids are running around, Mr Briggs is furious. He stops one boy called Ronson and gives him a lecture. Inside the shop the kids are stealing everything they can, what makes this scene comical is the fact that after Briggs has scolded Ronson he thinks that he has actually made a difference. "He watches as Ronson walks into the shop. Satisfied, he turns to Mrs Kay" This is untrue, because we know that when Ronson gets into the shop, he will be stealing the same as all of the other kids. ...read more.


Russell's uses a lot of adverbs in his staging directions, to show emotion in the characters. For instance in Scene fifteen, "The counter cannot be seen for pushing, impatient Kids. The two men are working frantically" and in Scene thirty "Briggs pauses for a long, staring, angry and contemptuous moment". By using the adverbs, the author directs the characters behaviour. Through witnessing their behaviour it is possible for the audience to imagine the emotions that the characters are feeling at the time. The stage directions are detailed and precise which allows the actors to display the emotions that the author wishes to betray. If I were directing this play I would have the stage as though it was the whole bus, so you could see everyone, and exactly what is happening. It would be easier to see the emotions of the children and Mr Briggs when he shouts at them. Overall, Russell has made effective comedy by combining pathos and humour together. This effectively raises a number of serious points about society, and would make the audience see these points but also enjoy the play. This play would undoubtedly open people's eyes to the state of education in the UK. 1 ...read more.

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