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Our day out - With whom does Willy Russell intend the audience to sympathize and identify? Give reasons and evidence from the play in your answer.

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Introduction

OUR DAY OUT With whom does Willy Russell intend the audience to sympathize and identify? Give reasons and evidence from the play in your answer. Our Day Out was originally written as a television play, which was set in Liverpool. Willy Russell wrote it in 1977. He was born in 1947 inWhiston, but most of his childhood was spent in Knowsley just outside Liverpool. He has written a string of popular award winning plays and musicals. One of his most famous was Educating Rita, which was successfully adapted into a film and nominated for an Oscar. Other of his well-known works includes Shirley Valentine and Blood Brothers. Most of Russell's plays and characters are based on their situations, which are drawn from real life experiences, although the stories are generally humorous there is usually a hidden agenda as the characters tend to crave freedom from a deprived background. A good example of this is Our Day Out. Russell wrote this after his experiences as a teacher at Shorefield Comprehensive School, when accompanying a teacher of the remedial department on a trip to Conwy Castle. The play implicates all the vital elements of the trip, which contrast with the complex teaching methods of the characters. Russell uses dramatic devices to create warmth, humour and a sense of humanity in his work, to show different archetypal views which his audience can identify with. ...read more.

Middle

"A clucking hen is heard" "Right! And now I want the rest!" "I trusted you lot. (pause) I trusted you. And this is the way you repay me (pause) I trusted all of you but it is obvious that trust is something you know nothing about." This scene leads Mr. Briggs to reassert his authority over the excursion. "Mrs. Kay. When we get to the castle we'll split up into four groups each member of staff will be responsible for one group." Mrs. Kay obviously feels undermined and untrusted by her colleague this creates tension, which builds into a climax in the next scene. At the castle the children run amok. Mr. Briggs is extremely angry and appalled by the behaviour he demands Mrs. Kay to get a grip on the situation. "Look! All I want to know from you is what you're going to do about this chaos" Mrs. Kay tries to pacify him and replies in a defensive manner. "Well, I'd suggest that if you want the chaos to stop, the you should stop seeing it as chaos. All right, the headmaster asked you to come along - but can't you relax?" The augment escalates and the tension rises to a crescendo when Mr. Briggs and Mrs. Kay fiercely argue over their opposing views on how to educate these "type" of children. ...read more.

Conclusion

He looks at the film and up at the school. He pulls open the film and exposes it to the light, crumples it up and puts it into his pocket." After analyzing the main characters in this play, in my opinion the audience now sympathizes with Mr. Briggs. Although his manner appears rigid and humourless and his teaching methods may be strict, he does have empathy with the children, but doesn't often show it. This to him would be like a sign of weakness. He strives to educate them to the best of his abilities. Unlike the disillusioned Mrs. Kay who thinks that they have no hope of attaining anything better, so not worth the bother. He uses his authority and stern manner to try and encourage them to work, to their full potential. I enjoyed this play immensely as it is crammed with black humour, comedy and the use of dramatic devices to create scenes which make the audience think about the wider issues of inner-city depravation. I feel that Willy Russell intended the audience's sympathies to lie in main with the remedial class children. He wanted to highlight the hopelessness of their situation and their attempts to escape the confines of a society which automatically assume that because a child comes from a poor impoverished background that they should be discounted as "factory fodder" and not worthy of anything better. Which we all know is not the case. By Sarah Fowden 11 Grimshaw ...read more.

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