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The generation of audience sympathy and identification in Willy Russell's 'Our Day Out'

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Introduction

The generation of audience sympathy and identification in Willy Russell's 'Our Day Out' 'Our Day Out' is a play first seen on television, it was written by Willy Russell in 1977. Mrs Kay teaches a class with learning problems and decides to take them on a coach trip. I will be focusing on the characters 'Mrs Kay' and 'Mr Briggs'. The scenes that I will be focusing on are the ones which I think 'Mrs Kay' and 'Mr Briggs' show their true side and find out about them. The play was set in the 1970's, when teachers had much more powers over pupils in the schools. They had the rights to hit pupils; one example was 'the cane'. Pupils had more respect for the teachers in the 70's rather than these days. The scenes that I will be focusing on are 'The Cliff' , 'The School Gates' , 'Inside The Coach' , 'In The Zoo' , 'The Beach' and 'The Fun Fair'. Mrs' Kays and Mr Briggs's relationship with the pupils vary. Mrs Kay is a lot friendlier with the pupils whilst Mr Briggs uses a different teaching method which results in the pupils not liking him and is frightened of him. At the start of the play the stage directions describe Mrs Kay surrounded by pupils wanting her attention whereas Mr. ...read more.

Middle

It ends up in the pupils getting into even more trouble. Mrs Kay admires the crocodile line. She makes the children do it, but the children feel that that she needs to treat them more like adults rather than children. This might make the audience think that even though Mrs Kay treats the children well, she may need to start treating them like adults. When the children go to the caf�, they think it is an opportunity for them to do what they like because the teachers are not around them. The children take advantage of this. It shows the audience that the children can't be trusted unless they are under adult supervision. The children's attitude to Mr Kay and Mr Briggs vary. Their attitudes to Mrs Kay are friendly and polite, because she is to them but their attitudes to Mr Briggs are different. Towards the start of the play we realise that the children and the teachers do not really want him to come along on the trip because he will most likely ruin it as he has done before. They are frightened of him. We see towards the end a different Mr Briggs, In the fair towards the end of the play, the children's' attitude to him change when he is like this and they are not frightened of him and can have a conversation with him. ...read more.

Conclusion

They get back to the beach when Mrs Kay is just about to shout at Carol for running off when Mr Briggs stands up for her and says everything is alright. When they return to the city, everyone gets off the coach, Mrs Kay asks Mr Briggs to go and get a coffee with them from a nearby caf�. He refuses to go and uses an excuse to get out of it; he tells them that he will develop the photos of the day in school rather than paying in a shop. While Mrs Kay and the other teachers walk away we see Mr Briggs destroying the photos of him having fun. I think Mr Briggs did this to keep his reputation as the strict teacher and because he did not want any evidence of him having fun, which is quite sad. At the start of the play Mrs Kay may be sympathized by the audience more than Mr Briggs because she has to teach the progress class whereas Mr Briggs is more strict and believes that this is the right way to teach .Further into the play the audience may change the view to sympathize with Mr Briggs because we find out that he is a lonely man and not many people like him but he dose have a caring side. I think Mr Briggs is afraid of his caring side, which is shown when he tears the photos up after the day out. ...read more.

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