- Karen Palin - Liverpool
Please re-release dancing
thru the dark, I still remember it from years ago and would love
to be able to buy it on DVD.
- Sue Fowler - UK
Have you come across
a screenplay Politics and Terror probably written
by Willy Russell 1978-80? Its not listed anywhere that I can
|Mark J Tansley - Nottingham
hi there. would just
like to say ive seen yet again about the 6th time now the dramatic
Blood Brothers in Nottingham UK The voice of Linda Nolan was
as amazing as ever I simply love going to see live entertainment
and collect signatures of things I see Would it be possible for
me to send my Blood Brothers Programme, CD, flyer? somewhere
to be signed by the great Willy Russell
- Emma Duckstein - Cardiff
I think Blood Brothers
is amazing, I get all weepy when watching the end! I went to
see it last night in Cardiff, New Theatre, that would be the
8th time Ive seen it! Bring it out on DVD some how! I would buy
- Johnathon King - UK
Wrong Boy was one of
the best novels I've ever read - why no others?
- Kirsten - Birkenhead
Just want to say dancin
thru the dark is the best film ever and please if you ever make
it again can i be in it? Worth an ask
- Ivan Chilquillo, Cesar
Gutierrez & Juan Villegas - Lima, Peru
Mr. Russell, Maybe
you dont remember us, we are the guys who have been in
your house in may 1999
the Peruvian guys. We performed
Peruvian music in a Liverpool church. Well we saw some videos
about blood brothers in Youtube whats more we got excited
about you then we found your web page. We remember about you
and your family, were so friendly
thank you a lot for
everything. Thanks Mister Russell to give us the opportunity
to see you excellent creation Blood Brothers in London.
Nowadays, we work performing music at the Lima airport in Peru.
We enjoy everything about music. You can check our web page if
<www.illayandinoperu.com> We would like to interchange
some music. We know that you are a really important person around
the world. Please let us know a bit more about your work and
to improve our knowledge. Thank you for your time and please
give our regards to everybody. Yours Faithfully. PS. Our English
is not good, sorry!
- Harry Silverman - UK
Im in year 10 and im
reading the play for my coursework, I would like to know, what
happened to Linda, Mrs.Lyons and The Mother after she shot the
- Royston - UK
I have seen blood brothers
several times now and can not believe how majestically Lyn Paul
plays the part of Mrs Johnston, Mr Russell who has the power
to arrange a new CD of the latest cast, coincidentially that
happens to be Lyn Paul. I think its about time dont you?
- Liz Holland - UK
Hey, Im doing
a monologue segment from your play Shirley valentine for my year
ten assessment piece. I just wanted to say I really enjoyed the
play and this website was quite useful. So thank you. I really
love your plays.
- Pauline Byrne - Liverpool
Hi Willy, For my 50th
Birthday in 2006, my sister-in-law Martha was working in your
friends flower shop, and knowing that I am a very big fan of
yours, she asked your friend if it would be possible for you
to sign something for me. I think it was the next day that your
car pulled up outside and my sister-in-law was so shocked to
see you entering the shop with a copy of your CD "Hoovering
the Moon" and a card wishing me all the best for my significant
birthday. It certainly was the icing on the cake of my 50th.
- Christina - Liverpool
I have seen Blood Brothers
twice once in London and then in my home town of Liverpool. This
show is quite poignant for me personally as I, like the twins
in the show, was born in Liverpool together with my twin sister
but we were put in Browlow Hill orphanage where my sister was
adopted when we were five weeks old and I was left. Apparently
I fretted a lot for my twin but then two years later I was adopted
by the most wonderful parents anybody could wish to have. My
mum told me that for each birthday and Christmas, I used to want
a fariy wand so that I could wave it and get my greatest wish
- a twin sister. I had a total fascination for twins when I passed
my scholarship and went to Grammar school, on my first day mum
asked all about the class I was in and all wanted to talk about
was the fact that there were two sets of twins in my class (mum
said later that she thought "little does she know there
are three sets of twins") I only found out about my twin
sister when I was 15 and merely because I wanted to see my birth
certificate which was stamped ADOPTED birth certificate. I eventually
traced my sister who lived in Bollington, Cheshire
- Jane Williams - Liverpool
I went to see Stags
and Hens last week with my sister at the Royal Court, Liverpool.
We both cried with laughter. Willy was there and we were absolutely
dumb struck. My sister is a drama teacher and she studied Willy's
work throughout college and now teaches it. She was so star struck
she could not move and she will talk to anyone! The play was
fantastic and I would love Dancin Through the Dark to be released
onto DVD. This guy is a legend, one of Liverpool's finest.
- Paul Willis - Ireland
Have been this weekend
to see the Saturday matinee of The Blood Brothers" - Absolutely
fantastic" The acting & singing was superb by all the
cast. We were enthralled for the entire performance. The 4 standing
ovations suggested I was not on my own. Yours in anticipation
of a revisit.
- Grainne - Ireland
Hi. My name is grainne
(grace in english) I come from Dublin, Ireland and I'm 16 years
old. Last year for our 4th year variety show we learned Marilyn
Monroe and Tell me it's not true. Myself and my friends immediately
fell in love with Blood Brothers! I hope to go and see it next
month in the Gaeity Theatre in Dublin along with my sister who
loved the blood brothers songs when she came to the variety show.
Thank you for introducing me to another musical. Slan leat.
- Laura - Liverpool
Please Please re-release
Dancin Thru the Dark dvd and the soundtrack to go with it!!!!
- Rachel Pattenden - Liverpool
We went to see Stags
and Hens in Liverpool last night and it was absolutely
fabulous! It was funny, witty and a great evening out! The actors
made the play and the woman who played the bride was fantastic.
She played the part wonderfully! A must see!
- Susan Stafford - UK
Please release Dancin
Thru The Dark on DVD. Ive searched the web and found it is available
in USA but of course that is the wrong region. If it is available
there why is it not available here, the yanks probably wont understand
it anyway. Surely with the amount of requests on this guestbook
alone it clearly shows that it is in high demand and will be
a good seller.
- Jessica Benton - Italy
Dear Willy, I'm the
owner of a small - small - small bookstore in northern Italy.
i'm reading "The wrong boy" and i must tell you it's
absolutely one of the best books ever. really. i still don't
know how it's gonna end up but can't wait. and there's a collateral
effect - i can only listen to the smiths in the meanwhile! just
to tell,i really adore Twinky, since the first time he shows
up through the pages. i will surely tell all my customers to
buy your book because it's really worth having. Greetings and
a big hug. and forgive me for my approssimative use of english
language.i can assure you my italian is much better. Love, Bea.
- Duncan Ryan - Scotland
Dear Mr Russell, I
am sorry to inform you that there is a glitch in your otherwise
flawless play Terraces. In scene 14 near the end
Joey talking about Dannys house, says well
even paint it back to normal when the finals over.
In the TV programme, however, the houses are stone, so how can
you paint it back to stone ? This is why Im confused ?
I am Ryan Duncan, a pupil of Forres Academy (in the North of
Scotland). If you could answer my query I would be much obliged.
- Vicky Hayter - Chichester
Willy Russell you are
my saviour. After rediscovering Educating Rita several years
after leaving school you made me realise that I could change
my less than perfect life and achieve anything I want. You rescued
my soul. I now live life knowing that there is a world out there
for everyone but you must be brave enough to go and explore it.
After changing things and learning to go out and do the things
I want to do, I met my husband to be (we're getting married on
8th March 2008). Thank you for that, he's the the most amazing
person and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him.
I'm now set to embark on a career change and at the age of 30
will be returning to college in September. I'm at last able to
look to the future. I would also like to express my gratitude
for the wonderful Blood Brothers. I have seen it 15 times since
2001 and intend to see it again on many more occasions. It would
be a huge tragedy to British theatre if this show ever closes.
Many thanks for all your fantastic work which I hope will be
continued and recognised for many more years.
- Allan Steven, London
Reading Steve Williams'
post about Edinburgh was a pleasure. I was also a member of the
company, as an actor. Willy, Ray and I were the male members
of our year's Drama course, and other males and females were
recruited to make up 'Cateysaints'. Memories of those fantastic
two weeks are still with me. One day we filtered ourselves into
Princes' Street Gardens with each individual having a letter
of the alphabet pinned to their back. We casually lay down, side-by-side,
to sunbathe, and looking down from Princes' St. it read - BLIND
SCOUSE. We were moved on abruptly for advertising where we
shouldn't. A couple of days later we went to see a one man show
called JOCK starring Russell Hunter (Lonely from the tv series
Callan for those of you old enough to remember). Before the show
he spotted our t-shirts and exclaimed, " You're the bastards."
We then had a very friendly conversation where he explained that
we'd interrupted a tv interview he was doing with our advertising
stunt. Two other brief memories. Willy had a nosebleed that wouldn't
stop and he had to have it cauterised - ouch! And the final night.
We struck the set and cleared out of the Rifle Lodge to join
others at George's for the party. Someone who shall remain nameless
- Dave - handed me a pint that was 50% vodka. Don't recall much
- Megan Dennis - Liverpool
Hello, I would just
like to say I went to see Blood Brothers at the Empire Theatre
in Liverpool and it was absolutely amazing, I cried my heart
out. Is it ever going to be put out on DVD? Well Done to all
the cast. xx
- Iain Condie - Glasgow
Please please release
Dancing through the dark !!!!!
- Debby Wood - Liverpool
I didnt actually realise
Willy Russell had done all the things he has, I have seen only
a few of them but am going to see Blood Brothers on07/01/08 and
was already looking forward to it but am now more looking to
it after reading all the comments. I LOVE DANCING THRU THE DARK
PLEASE RE-RELEASE IT ASAP, I WILL GLADLY PAY FULL PRICE rather
than downloading from internet.
- Dan Seal - Wirral
Hello Mr Russell! I'd
just like to say i love your work, fantastic plays! I have performed
in One For The Road and Our Day Out and i have to say, are both
two of my all time favourite texts. Do you have any future plays
in progress you are writing? All the best
- Amanda Duckett - UK
Please Please re-release
Dancin thru the Dark Its a classic and after 14 yrs of having
it on video I have finally worn the tape out. Need a new copy,
and would like to know where to get a copy of the soundtrack
- Sophie - Huddersfield
Hi I do Performing
Arts at Huddersfield Technical College and I just played Pauline
in One For The Road. I'd never heard of the play before, but
when I read it, I realised that it was absolutely genious, I
enjoyed playing Pauline very much, and the play had me in stitches
from start to finish.
- Jacqui Lucas - Liverpool
Hya my name is Jacqui
Lucas and I was Linda Croxley in the original Our Day Out and
although it was 30 years ago it was still the best experience
of my life I loved every minute of it, and I love following the
career of one of my favourite actors Alun Armstrong who played
a nasty Mr Briggs in the play.
- Kim - Manchester
Hi Willy, It would
be great to see all your work issued on DVD. Are there any plans
for this? It is very interesting to read about your professional
collaboration with Kate Rusby, Since hearing her with Ronan Keating
I have purchased all her albums. She, like yourself, is very
talented and certainly introduced me to the genre of Folk. May
I wish you the best of luck with the musical side of your career
and hope it proves as successful all the other projects you have
undertaken. I very much look forward to hearing your C.D. Best
- Tony Stratton - UK
I would like to know
if there is a dvd recording of blood brothers the musical or
if there is plans for a release in the future
- Clive White - London
I've been thoroughly
delighted by your inspired, emotional, reading of your wonderful
book, The Wrong Boy, on Oneword radio every afternoon. As long
as art continues to be produced, with the simple honesty and
emotional resonance of your work, there is hope for society.
- P Edwards - UK
Please can anyone tell
me how to find a good VHS copy of "Our Day Out"? We
have used the text in school for years as part of our GCSE work
but our copies, taken from the Channel 4 screening some time
ago, are sadly well past their best. The kids love the film but
groan every time it goes wrong! Better still does anyone know
if it's likely to be released on DVD? Many thanks
- Caroline - UK
Please please please
release Dancin Thur the Dark on DVD and CD. It is my favourite
film and my VHS copy has finally given up. There are so many
people who want this movie as it is an classic. Thank you
- Kerry Hines - Zurich
The Wrong Boy: I should order this book in batches,
because I keep giving copies to people, and having to get another.
I can't actually recall the number of times I have read it, but
I picked it up when it was first published in 2001, and I refer
to it often, It is certainly the funniest I have read in quite
some time, but at the same time sad. So many hilarious scenes,
and characters. Many of course include Raymond, but Twinky wanting
to breast feed baby Jesus was hilarious. I see that Willy says
the "powers-that-be having decided that they dont
see The Wrong Boy as a TV series", perhaps they are concerned
about the fly trapping game?. Better perhaps, make a film of
it, and give it the justice it deserves. OK, it might not make
it in the States, but who cares? It would be their loss.
- Janet Street - Liverpool
Dear Mr. Russell, I
started writing when my son was born 16 years ago. I enrolled
on a short story course, but couldnt pursue my love of
writing as I have always been in full time employment and never
seemed to have the time. However, since entering a competition
recently with United Press Ltd., to write a poem about your home
town, and having my poem accepted for publication, it has encouraged
me to pick up where I left off, this time in the form of poetry.
I think your work is amazing, loved your Capital of Culture of
- Denise Greeneaves - Wirral
I can't thank you enough
for all the pleasure you have given us. I was a 'Rita' - did
a late degree and then taught in an all boys comp. I introduced
Blood Brother's to the school and we have gone through hundreds
of copies as it's the only book the kids take home and won't
bring back 'cos they want to keep it. They also love 'Our Day
Out' and......I think that The Wrong Boy was the best book I
read all year when it was published. You are an inspiration and
- Mark Webb - UK
I have just finished
watching a old tape of 'Our day Out' and I too would love to
know became of the young performers in the play. Does anyone
know if they went on to acting careers?
- Marion Hardcastle - Weymouth
Dear Guestbook - Please
could anyone tell me if Blood Bros is likely to be put on to
DVD in the foreseeable future? My daughter and I are ardent fans
of the show and she has even taught her two children all the
songs. We started in Manchester with the Kiki Dee, Con O'Neal,
Warwick Evans, Robert Locke production which then went to London.
When Mark Hutchinson took over the role of Eddie, Zoe was given
a backstage tour and met members of the cast and has kept in
touch with him. Last year I saw the touring production here in
Weymouth and was enthralled as always. I hope it wont be long
before we can get this on DVD - but who would one have in the
cast? Regards to all other fans.
- Karen - Wales
I went to see Blood
Brothers in London this year it was fantastic the songs were
amazing they really moved me they were so powerfull and the acting
. The best thing I have seen in years.
- Ruth - Tynewydd, Wales
a special happy birthday.
- Karen - Wales
I have been trying
to get a cd of dancin thru thr dark and dvd it was a fantastic
film and I loved the songs and con o'neill was fantastic in it.
Can anyone tell me if there are any plans to re-release it as
I'm sure lots of people would buy it. regards
- Dawn Annandale - London
The Wrong Boy: Every
teacher, social worker and do gooder in the whole country should
this book. It is one of the most perceptive books I have ever
read. You are a very clever man who obviously bothers to listen
and look at life from every angle. Congratulations and I shall
definitely be reading more of your work. All best.
- Julie Atkinson - Woolton,
Hi. "Our day Out"
starred some of my senior school, school friends and it was another
world having friends in a film and being at school with them,
i was wondering whether (having lost contact with most of my
school friends) any of them carried onto bigger things after
Our Day Out eg Angela Butler and Simon Driver (main characters)??
- Jim Ward - USA
It will be 26 years this August since you wrote "Educating
Rita". The film's casting agents could not have chosen a
better pair of actors for the leading roles then Michael Caine
and Julie Walters. The time has now arrived to finish the story
while Julie and Michael are still alive. If you recall, Dr. Frank
Bryant (Michael Caine) left for Australia at the end of the story
and Rita, aka, Susan, passed her finals with distinction. Would
it not be interesting to see where their lives have led them?
It is not often to see the same actors play the same roles 26
years apart. In fact, I am not sure if it has ever been done.
Rita could have gone on to be a distinguished
decision maker and major player in the same University she received
her education from. Perhaps she could have rekindled a relationship
with Frank after he permanently sobered up. There are endless
possibilities that could happen in a time span of 26 years. No
matter how you view it, "Educating Rita" is a memorable
story that needs to be finished by those who created
the characters and understand their personalities. I am sure
it would be a sure winner.
- Eddie Milton - UK
Hi, Can you tell me
if a video or DVD is available of Blood Brothers being performed.
Was it ever made as a play for TV? I need a version on video
/ DVD for my daughter to study and can only find scripts and
the book; she would dearly like to study the play being peformed.
- Joyce Blake - UK
I just cannot understand
why this brilliant film is not available on DVD,. Are there any
plans for its release ?
- John Alexgers - Northern
I saw Blood Brothers
in belfast on the 4th june and it was amazing this is my 4th
time seeing the show and im going again next friday 15th june
Linda Nolan is just amazing in the role of Mrs J ..evey time
i see this show i cant help but cry ..well done willy russell
for writing such a great musical.
- Ellie Sewell - Vancouver
I saw Blood Brothers
four times whilst living in the UK, I now live in Vancouver and
saw a semi professional production given by the Deep Cove players..
all the cast were Canadians and it was excellent. Its a play
that never dates and will be with us for many many years.
Which other playwright could write a song with the lines ending
'Like Marylin Monro'...brilliant.
- Hilary Mackelden - UK
I doubt you will remember,
but a few years ago, I was a student on one of the play and screenplay
courses you ran with Tim Firth at Arvon. I wanted to write a
play about my son, who has Prader Willi Syndrome. You both spent
a long time talking with me, advising me and helping me, over
and above the call of duty. I would just like to tell you, the
play was written, eventually, and it won an award. Thank you
for the help, encouragement and advice you so generously gave.
- Steve Williams - Liverpool
Having read most of
the correspondence in the guestbook I thought that the readers
might like to know something about the time that we all descended
upon Broughton Street in Edinburgh in the summer of 1972. I think
the best way to remember this is in 'flash back' and really,
its knowing where to start. There are so many things I
could write. I first met Willy at St. Kath's College in Liverpool
when we were both students together, and I am sure that if any
of our friends from that time read this they could also tell
their story. The fact that Willy had planned to take a theatre
company from college to Edinburgh was not only an exciting prospect,
but also in some cases at least for me one of nervous anticipation.
I was in the art and design department of the college and had
got involved in the drama department to help with the set designs
and props for some of their productions. It was certainly a very
creative place to be, and then Willy said he wanted to go to
Edinburgh we had months of preparation and rehearsals. Not all
of the rehearsals were in the college I remember on a number
of occasions we used a church hall in Widnes where my father
was the vicar. I had the job of set designing and also designed
and hand printed (using silk screen) a large number of the posters
and T shirts that we would take with us. The designing of the
sets was a real challenge because they had to be made transportable.
I asked Willy last year if there were any posters of 'Blind Scouse'
left but unfortunately as is often the case they will have been
lost for ever, I didn't even keep the original artwork although
I can remember what the design looked like. I do however have
a photograph of two members of the company Ian and Ray wearing
the T shirts although the clarity is not what it might be. Willy's
creativity and drive was what made the weeks we spent in Edinburgh
possible, I remember the sweat and anxiety of hoping that the
audiences would arrive and they did. There were three shows a
day with time off on Sunday. Of course all that happened is clouded
by time and there may be other members of 'Cateysaints' theatre
company who could add their memories and maybe correct some of
mine. I could go on about our times together, the Folk Club in
Runcorn, the days we spent talking about our hopes and dreams.
All I know is that Willy was and still is one of the most talented,
generous and loving people I have met and have the good fortune
to call my friend. Willy and Annie make a really good team and
as far as my memory serves me they always did. Their generosity
and help in providing me with a roof over my head when I was
looking for somewhere to stay while on teaching practice cannot
be praised enough. Willy is very encouraging and supportive of
young talent and gives his time and energy in helping and encouraging
those that he sees have the talent and drive to succeed. There
are many other memories and things I could say but it would not
be right of me to take up too much space. If there is anyone
reading this who also remembers the times we had together in
Edinburgh why not write it down even if it is to correct some
of my fading memories. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
- Holz and Sez - UK
Heya its holz and sarah
ere we love the book it was brill init bruv luv ya willy. x x
x x x x
- Shailen Patel - UK
Our Day Out is a brilliant
story and I really enjoyed it was mind blowing and everyone in
my class enjoyed it as everyone read it and now we have to write
a nice essay. Nice one Willy Russell.
- Lisa Ford - Manchester
What can i say!!. Blood
Brothers is absolutely, totally unbelievable and i just don't
know what to say. (Please read on!!). I am originally from the
north west and have relocated back, after eighteen years in London
and Oxford and have seen almost every theatre production. This
show is the greatest on earth and once you've seen it, you will
be spoilt for ever more. I love Phantom etc. but they are totally
different!! Watching, "Blood Brothers", in Manchester
for the first time in the north, it was superbe to see a really
younger audience, who at first was excited and then, " SILENCE".
All I can say, once quoted in the, "Evening Standard",
years ago, "If you have to steal a staff members uniform....".
Totally brilliant and thank you Willy Russell.
- Tracy Watters - UK
Along with MANY others,
I thought I would just add my request for Dancin Thru the Dark
DVD to be released and also to re-release CD of the soundtrack.
I have found "copies" on many websites being sold for
high prices! It is an all time classic film and my recording
of it on video is now in a very sorry state!! Any chance whatsoever
it will be released, there seems to be a big fanbase out there
- Lesley Jeavons - UK
What a fantastic surprise
and great read that email (The Latest Newsletter) was!!! Thank
you for keeping us up to speed on Willy's work and the progress
of all anticipated projects. So much to look forward to... :-)
- Leah Green - UK
heyy. i saw blood brothers
in london last night on a school trip and it was AMAZING, i wanted
my parents and grandad to see it and i was just wondering if
the same cast will be the ones performing in manchester???? because
they were amazing and i dont want to see different people haha
no i dont mind i was just wondering... =]]]] xx
- Eileen Rowntree - UK
I'm about to start
teaching Blood Brothers, for me, an all time favourite, for the
first time to a very low ability group of boys. Would there be
a copy of a DVD that they could watch to help them understand
the script. Look forward to your response in anticipation.
- Jordan Branthwaite - UK
hi there i wanted to
know if the rights to blood brothers were available and how id
be able to get them if you have any information i would be very
- Glenn Bowen - UK
Hi I am writing on
behalf of an amateur theatre company in South Wales we are all
big fans of Blood Brothers the Musical and would love to perform
it at our local theatre in Treorchy in the Rhondda Valley. Next
year is our 60th anniversary so we are looking for something
special to perform to wow the audience and Blood Brothers would
be great. Are there any plans to allow amateur groups to perform
Blood Brothers the Musical?
- Gregory Smethurst - UK
Hello my name is Abbey
Smethurst and i am 15 years old. I have seen your musical BLOOD
BROTHERS 3 times already and i absolutly LOVED it. I thought
it was amazing. I cant wait to see it again i think all the songs
are great and I know all the words to them!!! I dont really have
a favourite character I liked them all but i thought that Ediie
and Mickey were the best but i couldnt just choos!!! I wish it
would come out on DVD or video I would watch it over and over
again!! I have watched a lot of musicals and this one has to
be my favourite by far! Thankyou for writing such a great musical
i cant wait to see it again!!!!!
- Daniel Glover - UK
hey man...my name is
Daniel Glover and im 15, to be honest with you i only ever heard
about you through BLOOD BROTHERS and i gotta say, its the best
musical iv ever seen, iv been to see it once and the way all
of the songs and charactors stuck in my mind was amazing. id
love to play micky because of the way he acts like a kid at the
begining and i act like that all the time. id love to do that
play at my school but unfortuantly we cant get hold of the rights
or something. Micky is by far my favorite charactor and the best
song has got to be 'shoes upon a table'...although 'tell me its
not true' apsalutly broke my heart.... i really cant get over
how good Blood Brothers is, i mean my favorite musical has always
been Grease, which im starring in at school this year. i never
thought that there would be a better musical then Grease but
Blood Brothers beat it by miles. you sir have done a grand job
on Blood Brothers, and i want to see it again. i think we might
go and see it in skegness. so we can stay over. i cant wait.
- Terry Corrigan - Manchester
Hi Willy, you won't
remember me but I attended Lumb Bank in about 1980, where you
and Carol Anne Duffy were running a five day residential workshop.
You were actually still writing Blood Brothers (on A4.foolscap)!
It was an amazing time for me. In the evenings, you got your
guitar out and we actually jammed together. Obviously nobody
believes this when I tell them but it is as true as it is surreal.
Thanks to your teaching, I have since written for TV and have
had my first stage play optioned for next year by a local theatre.
Keep scribbling Willie, you'll get there in the end mate!
- James Parlour - UK
Hello Mr Russell, Just
a brief note of thanks for "The Wrong Boy" which is
top of my best reads for 2005-2006. Obviously, I came upon this
gem very late, but have since enjoyed reading it-twice. Being
semi-retired I am fortunate to be able to read a great deal so
do have a wide range of books- 100 over the past 2 years-against
which to judge your work. I recommended your book to my daughter
in Calgary and it has since become a "must" read for
an expanding range of reading groups and literary circles in
this city. When can we expect another book?
- Cyrus Lane - Canada
Dear Willy Russell,
My name's Cyrus Lane. I'm playing Mickey at Theatre Aquarius,
a professional theatre in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The director's
name is Michael Shamata. He's very good and giving us loads of
room to breathe and go through it. It's great. Today we staged
from Mickey and Eddie fighting when Eddie returns for christmas
right to Linda visiting Mickey in prison. It was a great day.
We all left feeling a little gutted and raw, but happy because,
as actors, those are the days you hope for. 'Blood Brothers'
is a joy to perform. If you ever read this, thanks. Thanks for
writing roles that actors can bring their hearts to. Thanks for
Mickey and Eddie and the Mums. We're all feeling lucky to be
in your play.
- Thomas Major - UK
hi willy wat up bro!!!!
guess wat im yr biggest fan plz can i have a autograph coz my
friend callled toma is like my biggest fan love from tomo
- Danny Yannad - UK
I have just finished
reading the Wrong Boy...Absolutely fantastic! Funny! Moving!
Just damn good! I Absolutely love Hoovering The Moon...what a
great voice and fantastic lyrics. Dear Mr Russell...MORE PLEASE!
- Vikki Curd - UK
My name is Vikki Curd,
I am 16 years old and am from England. I would first of all like
to say how much I loved Willy's play 'Blood Brothers' I went
to see it twice. I have seen a lot of performances and want to
go onto doing it myself in the future and I loved Blood Brothers
the most. I studied it at school and performed a few clipits
from the play. I would absolutely love if
Blood Brothers was put on DVD so I could watch it over and over
again and let everyone I know about it, as I have heard that
is isn't going to be on in theatres for much longer which I was
very dissapointed to hear. I'm sure it would be sold as well
as musicals such as Oliver, Sound of Music and Annie. I haven't
watched any of Willy's other performances, but seeing this
one has made me sure that they are also brilliant and want to
watch them also. I would like to repeat that I really want Blood
Brothers put on DVD as I have looked for it everywhere but can't
get hold of it so I can enjoy watching it at home! I would be
really grateful if you did whatever possible to get it recorded
at the Pheonix theatre in London or another brilliant
theatre! Thank you for your time. Yours sincerely
- John Hayward - UK
My wife and I are currently
listening to the serialisation of 'The Wrong Boy' on Oneword.
We are absolutely glued to the radio and are not getting up at
our usual time but waiting under the duvet for our daily 'fix'.
Willy's reading is absolutely stunning and the subject matter
is so close to our hearts having both just retired from teaching.
I agree with one of the previous posts, that this should be required
listening for all in education. A good kid told explicitly and
implicitly that he is bad going into a downward spiral, is a
story that is repeated again and again in our schools, although
they are a lot more caring than they used to be. We've just got
to the part after he is dredged out of the canal and he unburdens
himself for the first time to someone who is prepared to listen
and not pass judgements. We cheered with relief! Well, it's back
under the duvet for the next episode. Can't wait!
- Angela Lowther - UK
Would love to be able
to buy a copy of Dancing Thru the Dark on DVD please let me know
if it will be released anytime soon
- Sue Harnden - Southampton
Please please please
beg beg Dancin Thru the dark is absolutely brilliant why is it
not released on DVD?
- George Smith - Canada
I was brought up in
Liverpool, in Wavertree to be precise, and of course just love
the work of Willy Russell. I now live in Southern Ontario. I
came to Canada in 1957 after 26 years in Liverpool. I can honestly
say that I have never heard the expression "Chips and Egg!"
as uttered by Shirley. I have been involved in Community Theatre
here for thirty years. When I tried to explain to one of our
actresses who was playing Shirley that the expression should
be "Egg and Chips", she turned around and gave me a
kick in the fanlight while pushing a script into my gob. Yes
she was right because that is the way that Willy had written
it! I pointed out that this was the Merseyside National Dish
and could not be tampered with. My enviable reputation as an
authentic Scouser has been compromised through this seemingly
unimportant episode. In my pursuit of theatrical edification,
would someone please explain this discrepancy to me. I have tried
to justify it as dramatic, poetic, or even rhythmic licence even
as inebriation, but plural before singular?.....yuk! Only Mickey
Drippin', or some other doodleally would let this pass unchallenged.
- Pam Cosford-Morris - UK
Dear Willy Russell,
Just had to write and tell you that the amateur dramatics group
I am in, "The Phoenix Players," have just finished
performing, "Breezeblock Park." I played Vera and I
wanted you to know that it was one of the most pleasant and rewarding
experiences of my life. The line, "Something's upset you
hasn't it Betty" got the biggest laugh of the night which
did my ego no end of good! I will remember Vera forever with
a great deal of love and affection.
Thank you for writing this play and giving me and the other members
of the cast the chance to act in such a brilliant, well written
piece. Keep up the good work. All good wishes,
- Karen Furminger - UK
Like quite a few other's
here, I've just spent a wasted morning looking everywhere on
the net for a DVD copy of the excellent Dancin' Thru The Dark.
I've seen plenty of VHS versions for sale but that format is
no longer viable for me as I've moved on from magnetic tape.
Could Mr Russell see fit to release a DVD version, if only to
placate my wife who is currently demanding that I buy the video
and a player to play it on?
- Daniella Honey - UK
Your play our day out
is a hit in our school. Keep up the good work !!
- Kirsty Sim - Worthing
Dear Mr Russell. This
is on behalf of Chichester colleges Drama class. We have
been studying your play blood brothers I have been
on all your web pages and this is the only one where I can really
relate to this film, I would be most grateful if you would come
to Chichester college to help our class to work with blood
brothers and it would be great to meet you! In person not
through pictures or films please reply to this email many thanks
- John Bennett - Kiama, NSW,
Mr Russell, your WRONG
BOY'S should be compulsery reading in ANY school in the UK and
when they're ready for it, in the USA. One of the best reads
in my 50 years of reading great books and plays. And I've said
nothing of your superb plays. You are a literary treasure to
the World. Joy and good health always.
- Ian Wilkes - UK
Hello! I am a massive
fan of Blood Brothers and Educating Rita. I have been to see
Blood Brothers, and thought that it was absolutely amazing -
It Made Me Cry! I Hope to go see it again some time soon. At
the monent - I am in year 11 and studying the play in Drama,
and i love it. Educating Rita is such a good story!!! At the
moment i can't put it down.. Keep Up the good work! OH - Can't
wait for this rumoured 'Blood Brothers Movie'.
- Avis Davies- Chester
I thought I read somewhere
that the Wrong Boy was to be made into a TV series? Have I imagined
this or is it just wishful thinking!
- Victoria Cokeley - UK
Hello , I saw Blood
Brothers when I was in school infact it was a theatre trip organised
by my school at the time, Cefn Saeson (wales).Following that
my mother taped Dancin thru the Dark off the television ,because
as she put it ,if its Willy Russell its bound to be good and
it was, infact it was excellent ,It would be wonderful to be
able to watch that again.
- Andrew Rhodes - UK
Please could you relese
both the soundtrack and DVD version of Dancing thru the dark.
This was shown on tv the weekend before I left for university
and left me with so many memories.
- Dawn - UK
Dancin Thru The Dark
is the best film i have ever seen i loved it and would love to
see it come out on dvd and would love it if you would bring the
soundtrack out on cd again as i lost mine when i moved house
please please bring them both out again i would love to have
them both for christmas 2006 it would be a big shame not to see
it out on dvd so i beg you to please please bring it out on dvd
and bring out the soundtrckat the same time. kind regards
- Steve Tealey - UK
I feel the same way
as Maria Smith. Dancin thru the dark should be released on dvd
what a great film and the soundtrack is just as great and should
be released on cd as well every one who has seen the film and
loved it would love to see it out on dvd now so please please
get it out on on dvd a.s.a.p i would love to get a cope of it
on dvd for Christmas. kind regards
- Maria Smith - UK
Please, please, please
release a copy of Dancin Thru The Dark on DVD. I've searched
everywhere and can only get a copy on VHS, which is no longer
useful to me. I note that some of the Americans can get it on
DVD but not on the UK Format. This is a really great film, with
the same kind of humour and down to earth feeling as Shirley
Valentine. It's brilliant, so is the soundtrack and so is Con
O'Neill. Christmas is not far away now. Come on, give us something
good to buy. It would seem from looking at lots of different
websites, that I am not the only one requesting this. I look
forward to a positive response. Kind regards
- Aaron Jones - UK
Hi i am currently studying
blood brothers in my drama lesson in school and just finished
reading educating rita for the 3rd time and i would just like
to say that what an honour it was to read educating rita and
to see blood brothers in the west end they are both amazing keep
up the good work
- Rob - Liverpool
Does Willy read these
?oh well here goes, I remember when I was about 12 watching ,play
for today about farm workers and I remember a shot gun was integral
in the story , the next day 3 of us visited a house in Prescot
with our teacher Mrs Melia, the house was a small terrace corner
house with a back shed with pigeons in the back, lets cut to
the quick it was Willy's mum and dad , when they asked me my
name (Russell ) they said , "oh our name is Russell, Willie
will be in in half hour come in and have a chat and wait ".
I have followed his career ever since.
- Kath - Melbourne, Australia
I wish Willy Russell
had been my English teacher. I've read The Wrong Boy many times
and each time find something more fascinating and extraordinary
about it. What a gift to be able to pen a novel like this! My
favourite read of all time!
- Ann Physick - Liverpool
Hi. Willie Russel was
my English teacher when I was 13. he was teaching at Shorefields
Comprehensive, Dingle, Liverpool 8 in 1973. At this time he was
writing his play for the Everyman theatre, John, Paul, George,
Ringo and Bert. He was a fantastic teacher and used to read pieces
out to the class and ask our opinion. No one ever asked our opinion,
we thought we were great. His friend Alan Bleasdale also came
into school and he would read Scully to us.
- Looking back now it was amazing.
He always stressed the importance of education, but us as divvies
never quite understood. Years later I met him and told him I
was a mature student, like he was, and was at university doing
a history degree. He was very encouraging and was made
up that I was at uni. A great teacher and writer.
- Martina McCann - Dublin
I'm a huge fan of dancing
thru the dark, I'II never forget the day I came accross the Video
in WH Smiths in Hounslow while on holidays - 1990!!!, from that
day to this, I have searched everywhere for the Soundtrack! Don't
suppose anybody knows where I could get my hands on the Soundtrack??
- Lesley Jeavons - UK
I have just finished
reading The Wrong Boy and am overcome! I adore you as a playwrite
and now I can say I adore you as an author too! And then I come
in here and find that Blood Brothers may be made in to a film?!
Well knock me down with a flying doughnut - I'm made up! I'm
trying not to get too excited, I know that the amount of things
in preproduction that never reach fruition is vast, but ooooooooooooohhhhhhhhh!!!
No writer moves me in the way you do - I've always thought you
write the parts of women and children exceptionally well, but
you have brought The Wrong Boy to life too! You are a genius
- Raymond was wrong to love Morrissey so, he should have directed
his adoration at you! :-) Best wishes. PS reading TWB at the
same time as having Morrissey's fantastic new album made it all
the more delightful and real! "Life is a pigsty" indeed!
- Lynne Hill - Wiltshire
This whole story [previous
Guestbook entries] seems to be about Blood Brothers. But what
about EDUCATING RITA. Brilliant script, sparkling wit. Willy
Russell is an absolute diamond! Long may he shine.
- John Walsh - Liverpool
I played the guitar
and my friend Eddie Hughes played banjo in the film Dancin Thu
the Dark. We had a great time recording the tracks for the song
Mountains of Mourne and the banjo tune Masons Apron in Radio
Merseyside and then appearing as the Irish band in the scene.
We are still playing the pubs of Merseyside and including both
pieces in our act, however I too like many of you have not been
able to pick up a copy of the film and would like a copy for
- Julie Arnold - Rainford
Hi, Im Julie from Rainford
- belive you know the place ;) I have been a big fan of Blood
Brothers for most of my adult life, knew all the songs and words
via an audio cassette, it wasnt till i watched the show at the
Liverpool Empire that I realised the story behind it all. WOW!
I love it, if only i could buy it on DVD.
- Sandra Hart - UK
hi ther i'm researching
your life for my english project and i think you are amazing
keep up the good work
- Paul Andrew House - Minneapolis
I am a playwright and
an actor from Milton Keynes, England. I recently moved to Minneapolis,
USA and am pursing a career in the theatre. I have directed Stags
and Hens and played Eddie in Blood Brothers, I love Russell's
work and i hope I get the opportunity to work on one of his plays
in the future. I have seen Blood Brothers about five times and
was so impressed by the West End production that I embarked on
my own musical theatre project inspired by Willy Russell (Good
For Today). He is a hero and I hope I get to meet him one day.
My own project is in it's forth year now and soon I hope to be
looking for producers and managers to represent the musical.
Thank you Willy Russell for being such a huge influence on my
own practice as a playwright.
- Lara Bugeja - Malta
Hi there! Just wanted
to tell u to keep up this site and congratulations to Mr Willy
Russell on his amazing first novel the wrong boy.
Its absolutely amazing, I loved it! Cheers.
- Susan Hillyer - Buenos
Willy is brilliant.
I'm a Scouser and I've acted as Rita and Shirley here in Buenos
Aires. I've seen Shirley in Spanish too, although I rather felt
it lacked the Scouse resonances! I'm just doing a presentation
for 200 teachers in Tucuman ( North Argentina) entitled Let's
Live Liverpool Literature where I tell about Willy Russell's
talents and we read an extract from Shirley, among other things
like sea shanties and a few Beatles songs. The national training
college has " Educating Rita" on its compulsory reading
list. Willy Russell is well loved here, even though we are far
- Deric Metzger - UK
I performed as Sammy
in a production of Blood Brothers back in 2002. At the time I
was a professional actor, and that production, due to personal,
and career changes in my life, remains one of the most fulfilling,
introspective, meaningful productions of my life. Thank you for
bringing it to the world Willy.
- H Johnson - Hemel Hempstead
'Dancin Thru the Dark'
is the TV film of 'Stags & Hens'. If you haven't got a copy
of this, get it; it's available as part of a 3 play book along
with (I think) Educating Rita and Blood Brothers. Also the play
'One for the Road' is fantastic, I think that's in with Shirley
Valentine. All fabulous... The man's a genius.
- Kerry - Southport
Hi. Dancin Thru the
Dark - Cracking film. Searching through my old video's and found
my copy. Watched again and again for nostalgia. (It makes me
feel young again) As this was a popular film, can we get it released
on DVD? If anyone starts a campaign to get this released, then
please put my name down. RELEASE IT ON DVD. PLEEEEEEAAAAASSSSSSSEEEE.
- Pat Kahn - Argentina
My name is Pat Kahn,
I am an English teacher in Patagonia, Argentina.I am desperately
looking for the musical John, Paul, George, Ringo & Bert
to perform at school concert. Please, let me know how, where
I can get the script, video, whatever. Thanks !!!!
- Jessica - UK
hi, my name is jessica
and im an a level student studying drama biology and chemistry
for my exam performance i choose blood brothers. i have always
loved this play its exciting to watch on the big stage it keeps
u on the edge of ur seat it involves the audience its a great
play like i said. i played the part of michael johnstone i did
find this role rather challenging so i had to commit all my heart
and soul, my drive and passion into becoming michael johnstone
on stage and i got an a yeaaaaa.
- Elvi Birgit - Hamburg
Hi, my name is elvi.
I'm from Hamburg. In school I have to read 'Shirley Valentine'
at the moment. Afterwards I have to answer a question my teacher
has already given to me. She asked me whether 'Shirley Valentine'
is a novel dealing with the topics of gender and class or treats
universal themes. I do not really know whether I am right but
I suppose it deals with universal themes!? Perhaps somebody has
a good idea on this topic? thanks. P.S.: I liked the book a lot:-)
- Chris Rafferty - Bootle
Can anyone tell me
if willy wrote a play about a kid from a Merseyside council estate
getting shot and killed on a farm. I think the play was part
of the bbc play for today series. Cheerr.
- Laura Monteith - Bournemouth
I went to see Blood
Brothers for the 3rd time last night, and I was still in love
with everything about it, I love musicals, but this one I could
go and see again and again, and although I know the song words
in the accent, there are still the bits I miss. The best thing
about it last night was that Stephen Palfreman was still Mickey,
thats every time I have been to see it, and I must say
I think because he puts absolutely everything into it, he is
absolutely fantastic. Especially when he sings Long Sunday
Afternoon, you really feel his loneliness. By the time
that Mickey goes to jail I am in bits! He is just amazing. Also,
seeing Linda Nolan back on stage again was wonderful. I saw her
in London with Stephen on my 21st birthday (3-4 years ago), and
I am really pleased that she is well enough to tour again, Fantastic
news, not only for her, but her family and all her fans. Where
would we be without Linda? Easy Terms and Tell
me its not true and the end songs about Mickey and Linda
are fantastic, and they just make me go to bits too. I think
Linda plays Mrs Johnston with real emotion and she is wonderful.
Obviously, I think that Blood Brothers is fantastic, and its
the best musical I have ever seen. Well done to all the cast,
and thanks Willy for writing such a fantastic play and making
it into a musical.
- Victoria Parker - North
My name is Victoria
Parker. I went to see Blood Brothers at the North Wales Theatre
in Llandudno, and as I stood up to applaud the cast, I knew I
wanted to write a play that made people FEEL. Willy Russell has
changed my goals and given me courage. Thank you Willy.
- Manon Desjardins - Montreal
I saw "Frères
de Sang", (BLOOD BROTHERS ) today in Montreal. It was the
first time I heard about Willy Russell. I am very impress. I
just want to know more about this author now. Thank you.
- Patsy Fryer - Hayes
I have been doing a
Willy Russell project at school and i thought it will be really
boring. When i visited his site, i wish we could do more about
his life and abilities.
- Janis Farrell and friends
We went to see the
show on wednesday evening and we could have watched it over again
the whole cast were suberb in the acting, dancing and singing.
It was funny, a bit scarey and sad but most of all an excellent
and enjoyable evenings entertainment. Compliments to the young
gentleman who did an excellent job doing the sign language. Once
again thank you Willy Russell all the cast and and everyone who
helped to make this a great evenings entertainment. cheers
- Brian Martin - Crewe
Hi , Just want to add
to the many tributes to Willy Russell and say that in my opinion
"Blood Brothers" is one of the best musicals I have
had the pleasure to see!
- Tracey Farley - Wales
My name is Emily and
I'm 12. I live in Wales. I went to see Blood Brothers for the
first time in Cardiff in March (FRONT ROW SEATS !!!) and I am
wondering when is the show going to be made in to a film? Mickey
is my favourite character, but Lynn Paul is good too.
- Michael Williams - Liverpool
i have just recently
seen blood brothers in the liverpool empire and would just like
to say how great it was. i had never been to the theatre before
that now i want to go all the time. it was amazing. funny, sad,
scary!!! the music was fantasic as well! and all the performers
were great. i would recomend anybody to see this show!!!
- Merenna - Hereford
been to see blood brothers
in cardiff march 2006 absolutely fantastic will russell is a
pure genius. i loved his plays at school with a taste of willy
found in our day out. stags and hens fantastic, just want dancin'
thru the dark on dvd now. if you not a convert you should be.
see a show and you'll know why. happy in hereford xx
- Anna Mullins - Hampshire
Hiya, I've just been
playing in the band for a production of "Our Day Out"at
my school and I think it was the best production our school's
ever done. It works so well and has space for performers to try
on accents (which most did, even though we're in Hampshire and
no-one had a liverpool accent) and develop new skills like freeze
frames and improvising. Has anyone
else come across the musical version, that's what we did and
the music's great but I can't find sheet music or clips of it
anywhere on the net.
- M Baines - UK
Hello the our day out
film I watched at school shows me the way of children in the
- Debbie Reynolds - Manchester
- I first saw Blood Brothers
14 years ago at the Liverpool Empire and have been hooked ever
since probably the best place to watch the show
feeling the underground vibrate through your seat is weird while
watching the show couldnt leave my seat (for tears
and shock and just plain I want to see this again). Have
probably seen it about 10 times since and could watch it 100s
of times again. The only bad thing about a brand new car is no
tape player to play my sound track on ..... Once I ad an
usband.... Didnt realise he wrote Dancing Thru the
Dark till I googled it to try and get a copy... another classic
.. Any help with getting a copy would me most appreciated.
- Hazel Moore - Western Australia
- I recently read The Wrong
Boy after having it recommended to me by my mum, an avid reader.
I have never read anything quite like it and am hooked. What
a great way with words! Other books can draw the threads of a
plot together usually in a fairly obvious way but this one had
me guessing right up to the last line. I hope Willy reads this
and knows that we think it's the best book we've ever read and
that we feel uplifted by it. Thanks. Educating Rita and Shirley
Valentine are favorite movies and this book will be re-read many
- Shirley Watt - Drumnadrochit
- I had read a few random plays
when i happened upon 'Our Day Out' and Shirley Valentine' by
a Willie Russell someone who i have never heard off. however
i found his plays both humorous and even a little strange. I
then took part in a production of 'Blood Brothers' and was instantly
hooked. I loved the music and the characters and the process
of going from a young child to becoming an adult and he truly
attacked every concept of that. I found it amazing how he could
have achieved something so amazing and breathtaking. Willie Russell
truly is amazing.
- Weibke Schoon - Denmark
- Hi I've been enjoying Willy
Russell's work since I was a child and i am really fascinated
by his plays and dramas. I'm doing a big work on 'Educating Rita'
for school at the moment and I am supposed to especially consider
'Education as a key factor to break down the social barriers
in the class system in Britain?' ! So what is your opinion concerning
this aspect? There are so many aspects to beware of, so that
I'm not absolutely sure of how to start my analysis and how to
argue. Do you think the barriers between the working-class and
the middle-class have actually really been broken down in the
end of the play? And would this work for everyone? And considering
that Willy Russell also has been a hair dresser when he was younger:
do you really think he feels that the barriers between him and
the middle-class are broken nowadays? It really would be nice
to maybe read your opinion on this!
- Nigel Campbell - Liverpool
- I was in Dancin' thru the
Dark - as an extra at the bar in the Nightclub scenes. These
were filmed in the old Locarno Ballroom on the outskirts of Liverpool
(though the exterior shots were filmed on Wood St. outside what
was then Sloan's nightclub - later renamed the Crazy House.
- I am only a blur really -
you can see me for about 1 second as a bearded man in a petrol
blue suit and mustard yellow shirt (well it was 1989!!) leaning
at the bar. We filmed for 3 days and got £20 per day plus
- Sue Butcher - Essex
- I am a lucky person who bought
Dancin' Thru The Dark on video when it came out and I have recently
found it and watched it 3 nights on the trot! I agree with everyone
else here that it is a cracking film,hilarious,well acted and
as usual for Willy,very well observed. It would be nice to know
where the cast are now and perhaps we should all campaign to
get a dvd release.
- Peter Mancey - UK
- I am a great fan of Willy
Russels music and I know I am not supposed to do this using guestbook
but where could I get the music or even just the chords for "Any
Father"? Kind regards.
- Emma Shawcross - UK
- I have been a fan of Willy
Russell's work for many years, and my favourite play is 'Stags
and Hens', to which a movie was produced called 'Dancin Thru
the dark'. I am hoping to set up a website dedicated to Dancin
Thru the Dark because, aswell as being a born and bread liverpudlian,
I have this movie aswell as the soundtrack and I want to discuss
the places in which the movie was shot (and take current day
pics to if they have changed). In addition to this, I want to
do a page on 'Where are they now?' for the cast of Dancin Thru
the Dark. Many thanks.
- Zoe - UK
- Hey Im Zoe Im
currently studying blood brothers I have to do a character study.
The only thing is they really confuse me can any body help?
- Bell - Brighton
- Love all of Willy's work but
have searched in vain for a DVD of 'Dancing thru the Dark'. It
seems that it should be released by popular demand!
- Maggie Stannard - Essex
- I am a fan of Blood Brothers,
Shirley Valentine and Educating Rita and have just finished reading
The Wrong Boy. How does Willy Russell manage to touch so many
thought provoking topics in one story without making the story
seem contrived in any way? Very rarely does a story end in such
a surprising, but again, believable and un-contrived way. I think
that everyone, especially those whose lives involve the care
of children, should read this book. Thank you Willy Russell for
this lovely book.
- Di Hodgetts - Stoke on
- Anything written by Willy
Russell and you know you're in for a couple of hours of pure
delight. Totally involved in the lives he's writing about, you
feel you know the characters personally. He'll make you laugh,
he'll make you cry, above all, he'll make you think. A favourite
of mine is 'Dancing Through the Dark', and like others in this
guestbook I'd love a copy on DVD and a copy of the soundtrack.
Has anyone had any joy in finding either?
- Monica Baker - Torquay
- Just finished a run of Shirley
Valentine to rave reviews .... but what a fantastic piece of
drama to work in! Thank you Willy Russell
- Amanda Buckley - Manchester
- Educating Rita is an excellent
screenplay, book, and film. As a mature student myself, I understand
and appreciate it even more as time goes by.
- Scott Croteau - UK
- I am working with a group
of year 10 students and we are looking at the reasons for, 'Our
Day Out's success. I love it for many reasons, not least because
I can see someone in each of the characters, and have been in
many 'progress classes' with various students. Please could you
tell me why you find it so amusing and why you think it is a
- Jemma Bogan - Liverpool
- Hello. Willy came to present
2 of our Carol concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Orchestra at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool on 21st and 22nd
of December 2005. We have had many requests regarding one of
his poems he read out called 'Liverpool Capital of Culture' (or
a title similar). He told me that the best way to get a copy
of it was to email the guestbook on his website - so this is
what i am doing! I have tried to get it through his agent - but
haven't had any joy. Please can you help?
- Sonia Jones - Liverpool
- At the Christmas concert in
the Phil on 22nd Dec. you met up again with Mrs Hughes who taught
you music at St. Kath's. I'm afraid that she didn't hear a word
you spoke! So, please could you send us a copy of the script
for that evening. Thank you very much.
- David McGee - USA
- Willy, I was talking with
Bill Watkins at the Lake Street Garage pub in Minneapolis, Minnesota
and he told me that you did Educating Rita as well as Shirley
Valentine. I rented the video and was just amazed. Where did
social class disappear to? I loved it. God bless and Godspeed,
- Julie Willis - UK
- Fantastic news that ONE SUMMER
is about to be released. It is the one TV series I remember having
a huge impact on me when I was 12 years old watching it back
in the early 80's. I have spent years wondering why it had never
been shown again, for those who have yet to see it, it's worth
- Amelia Strong - Hereford
- hiya . I'm Amelia i'm 14 years
old and i go to Haywood High School in Hereford. I went to see
Blood Brothers twice in December once in 2004 and once in 2005
with the schools drama group, it was amasing and I really enjoyed
it . It is the BEST show in the world. I really cant explain
how great Blood Brothers is. I'm reading the book at the mo for
school and it is really good so far. I hope to see it again in
- Spencer Finnerty - UK
- i hope you can help me or
anyone else on the net. i have been searching high and low to
find out if there is a dvd or video of the terriffic show of
"BLOODBROTHERS" my daughter is studying this for her
gcse's and has seen the show twice already and again shortly
in London. So if anyone can help please leave a message on this
guest book thanks.
- Paul Clifford - UK
- Can you tell us when we will
see blood brothers on dvd blood brothers rules the music and
- Hannah Springhall - Middlesbrough
hi my name is Hannah Springhall
and I think Blood Brother is the best book and play I have read
and watch it has so much emotion in it it's unbelievable, I cried
at the end of the show it's more exciting when your watching
it than reading. I would like to read and watch some other plays
that you have written I think you are really good and I love
your talent. I am 14 years old and I went to see the play you
wrote at Billingham forum, I went with my GCSE drama group to
help me analyse the actors for my exams. My school is called
The King's Academy, Middlesbrough Coulby Newham.
- Andrew Wallis - UK
- Just come back from the Spirit
of Christmas Concert at the Philharmonic. Your humorous and sharp-witted
narration raised a normally exceptional evening onto a new level.
- Robert Davidson - UK
I have just returned from
an evening at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall were Mr Russell
turned a night out into a memorable night out. Full of wit and
personal charm he really added that personal touch to a great
night of entertainment. The choirs, the orchestra, conductors,
what a night. Excellent.
- Mandy Meisner - Toronto
Great info here, I'm writing
from Toronto, Canada playing Mrs. Lyons in a Toronto production
of Blood Brothers and wanted to have more info on the author
and times. This site along with some info I looked up on Liverpool
and Skelmersdale was very interesting, I love how colourful the
characters are and how Mr. Russell encorporated events in his
life that he experienced.
- Kerry Fellows - UK
- I'm desperately trying to
find a copy of Dancing through the Dark, if anyone knows where
I can get one I would be most grateful
- Lauren - UK
- Just a quick note to say im
a huge fan of Blood Brothers, seen it 4 times so far, since discovering
it last year, and going seeing it again in its home-town Liverpool,
on April 18th, my birthday!!
- Lauren Strad - UK
Hi, I am doing this
play and the website was really useful on information about Willy
- Jess Shaw - UK
- Hi, Im currently reading 'The
wrong boy' for the first time and i think its fantastic so far,
i was attracted to it because 'Blood Brothers' is an all time
favourite. Just want to say thankyou for providing such entertainment.
- Rich - UK
- Hey all. i'm currently writing
an essay on Willy Russells our day out and have become so interested
in it that i have watched educating rita and read loads of plays
by him, he is such an inspiration.
- Dave Palmer - UK
- Hey, I read the Wrong Boy
over the summer holiday and found it a really good read. I was
first attracted to it when I found that he was writing to my
favourite musician, Morrissey. However, after reading it there
wasn't that much about him. Nevertheless, it was great! I certainly
felt sorry for Raymond though. Anyway, I thought it was so good
I have decided to my A - Level coursework on it. I am transforming
it into a newspaper article where I have to present Raymond as
a hero! It might be tough but I'm giving it a try. Thanks for
a great book and for providing my coursework material WR!!!
- Chris King - UK
- Hi all, Does anyone know if
a CD/soundtrack to Willy Russell's OUR DAY OUT has ever been
recorded & released? Am trying to get hold of one but have
had no luck as of yet.
- George Steen - Yorkshire
- Hi, I am an exiled Scouser..I
now live in N.Yorkshire (my job moved me). Can I go on record
by saying WR is one of Liverpool's true genius's (and there are
loads). I have seen Blood Brothers over 20 times..it is very
personal to me as I am adopted but never told until my adopted
paterents were dead. I had the privilage to see WR narrate BB
at the Empire twice in 6 days.. the last night was one of the
best stage performances I have ever witnessed (2 of the McGanns
played the brothers). I went to see Our Day Out in Harrogate
the other week..it was sublime. The man is a true true genius...
- Denise Buck - Hertford
- Hi. I wonder if you can help.
My son is at present attending Hertford Regional College, where
they have just performed Stags & Hens, which we all enjoyed
very much. He played the part of Robbie and as this was their
first production I think they were helped with the character
building by the college, but now he has to submit evidence of
where and how he would find his information to build up his character
study. Also he must show evidence of how he would researched
the play itself. We have found the piece on your website about
the play, when it was written and where it has been performed,
(including listings of some of the actors) but this does not
seem to go into depth about the characters. Could you please
advise us on where my son could do his research ie websites,
or books from the library etc. Any help you are able to give
would be very welcome. Many thanks and kind regards
- Andy Latter - Cornwall
- I'm trying to teach 'Our Day
Out' to a great bunch of Cornish kids, but we've lost the video.They
are all very low ability-( like the progress class, but with
surf )- and they need to see the film to add an extra dimension....
I desperately need one but there isn't a copy anywhere. Does
anyone know where I can get one? Preferably by period 2 on Friday!!!!!
- Carla Pero - UK
- A very good friend of mine
is in rehearsals for Blood Brothers for his high school. He plays
Mickey. I always like to get him something "Character Specific"
and special when he is in a show. He's extrememly excited about
this roll, calling it "the most exciting thing he's ever
done!". That's a pretty big statement considering that he's
been in over 30 different plays, having mostly leads...and he's
only 16! He's got a real gift for acting, and always deserves
the most special thing that can be found. Although I'm familiar
with, and adore the music, I can't figure out what might be a
meaningful gift to someone who plays "Mickey". Could
someone who's seen the show possibly give me a hint as to what
might be appropriate? I'd certainly be forever grateful!
- Dight - UK
- hi im studying 'OUR DAY OUT'
in school and i think its GGGREAT i love it so much. luv ya bye
X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
- Kirsty Russell - Buckingham
- I am a sixth form student
from The Buckingham School, recently my classmates and I visited
one of Londons theatres to see a performance of Blood Brothers.
It was absolutely fantastic and we all are absolutely awe struck
over the play. It has everything a good play needs excitement,
humour and also packed with emotion. We were all just filled
with so much inspiration! We would love to perform your play
"Blood Brothers" as a school production and share our
magnificent experience with our other school pupils. We have
already enquired about performance rights to the play and have
been told we cannot recieve the musical rights to the play. We
know that the play is only completed by the music and we would
love it if maybe you could help us to achieve the musical rights.
It would mean so much to us all and make our final years at School
one not to forget. Thank you very much.
- Irene Jardine - Kalymnos
- Dear Willy, I saw Breezeblock
Park years ago, and since then have always admired your work.
- Inspired by Shirley Valentine,
have bought a shack in Kalymnos. I would like one day to be as
great a writer as you (fat chance!) but you are my inspiration.
When I am a famous writer will go to my shack and enjoy life
from there. Love your work.
- Jenny Burrell - Bermuda
- I am now 37 and my very first
theater trip was to see the original Blood Brothers at Liverpool
Playhouse back in the 80`s. I loved it so much and it was this
show that made me want to act and perform . Thanks Willy Russell
and Mr Morgan(english teacher)
- Dorie Boize - UK
- Blood Brothers is totally
amazing! i'm studying it for my drama GCSE and saw it on tuesday
20th totally amazing!....thanks Willy
- Jim - Bristol
- gr8 site. what a legend.
- Lucy Wyer - UK
- Hi. I am currently studying
Willy Russell and inparticular is play Blood Brothers, i had
to do a time line on Willys life and your introduction has really
helped me! Thank You Very Much !
- Shin Chew - Singapore
- Hi, i am looking for a song
title "i will be your love" by bert. Just asking if
anyone know where can i buy the album or the single if it is
avaliable. Thank you
- Siobhan Ryan - London
- Hi I have just been to see
Telstar which was one of the best plays I've ever seen. After
the play I had the pleasure of meeting Con O'Neill who stared
in Dancing Thro the Dark. He was so lovely and I immediately
harped back to watching the film many years ago. I then wondered
if I still had the film which I had taped from TV and I did.
I watched it and laughed at all the funny one lines all over
again (also swooning at how gorgeous and right Con O'Neill was
for the part) Having read through the guest book and reading
the praise for it I will now try and get tickets for Blood Brothers.
A big thanks to Willy for his great plays and humour
- Frances Jackson - Oldham
- Many thanks for the Oldham
Coliseum discussion. Id like to write something classy
such as one was delighted but Im not classy,
quite common really - therefore, I trust you will recognize the
supreme compliment if I say it was fab, a word which
has remained in my vocabulary since the 60s and, of course, is
the ultimate praise. Your views and responses, collaborating
with your sometimes pensive and, occasionally anxious posture,
claimed your audience. (Just to mention to give you a
chuckle - a compliment I treasure - which Im not afraid
to share with you was at a gig in Liverpool -a lovely
young lady in the toilets of a working mens club pointed
her cigarette and said You with band, you were f***ing
- (We were the only band on).
Bless you for all your work. It enriches us.
- Mike Gerrard - UK
- I'm a big Beatles fan and
never got to see JOHN, PAUL, GEORGE, RINGO AND BERT. I've been
trying to find a script for it, but no luck anywhere. Does anyone
know if one was ever published? And thanks to Willy for all his
other wonderful work. I grew up in St Helens near Liverpool,
we're about the same age, so lots of resonances in his work for
- RoseMarie Ann Day Soanes
- I have just been given the
Wrong Boy and can't put it down, but as a retired translator
of British birth and totally bilingual in English and Spanish,
I would like to who dared to translate it into different languages.
This is murder, as a large part of the beauty of the book is
the way the hero expresses himself with his north-country accent.
Even though all countries have their own different accents and
slang, not to mention swearwords, the way of thinking of the
working class English of Raymond's world cannot be understood
by people of other countries.
Even so, thank you for a really enjoyable book.
- Maria Cook - UK
- blood brother is one of the
best show that i.ve seen
- Ellisrae - UK
- I am studying "Our Day
Out" for GCSE's it is a good book. Age 13
- Melissa OBrien- UK
- Hi My name is Mel and i come
from the famous town LIVERPOOL i just want to say BLOOD BROTHERS
is a brillant play if u haven't seen it yet you should go it's
great it's DEAD sad lol lol.
- Hey great site keep the good
work up. By the way i went to see your play blood brothers for
the first time the other week it was fantastic it was very sad
at the end. All the actors were brillant especially Linda Nolan.
p.s This site is great it has really helped me alot with my drama
coursework about Willy Russell and his famous play BLOOD BROTHERS!
- Jackson - UK
- this site rocks
- Lizzie Aylesbury - UK
- I'm 14 and have just seen
Blood Brothers for the first time. I thought it was really good,
but if you met someone who was identical to you and was born
on the same day as you wouldn't you guess that he was your twin
brother? Other than that, BB is now one of my fave musicals along
with Lies Mis, Miss Saigon and Joseph.
- Angel - UK
- hi. i would like to get a
copy of our day out for my brother,,his as moved to new zealand
with is family and it would make a great prizze as he was in
- Delightfulldecor - USA
- Great Site! Keep up the good
- Caroline - Middlesex
- Please Please Please can you
release Dancin Thru The Dark on DVD, I have a very old copy on
video which has been watched until its worn out. I adore this
film and the music and think that the casting of Con O'Neil as
Peter was simply superb.
- Shahla Mehrnaz - Kent
- your musical blood brothers
is fantastic i have seen it 7 times and i will shortly be visiting
the westend once again to watch your brilliant musical another
time and plenty more time after that i'm sure!
- MI3 - Leeds
- I have performed in a amature
production of our day out and have just seen blood brothers at
the grand in leeds Willy Russell is an amazing writer blood brothers
is the best i have seen in a long time.
- Adam & Ryan - Oxford
- our class has just read "our
day out" and we have just seen the video and we did enjoy
it . I think you are a great author adam and ryan oxford
- Fiona Khoury - Australia
- Hi my name is Fiona Khoury,
I live in Australia, and I seen Blood Brothers many years ago
while visiting London. I loved it, and took my daughter to see
it when it played here in Australia.
- Ethan Jones - Wales
- my name is ethan jones and
i live in wales, i've been to conway loads of times. Digga is
awesome the v sign is great 2, i am in the writers squad in caerphiily
and love poetry and writing and play the drums. my dad is patrick
jones he came no.32 in welsh hereos so we're on top lol. my dad
is also a poetry and playright as well so i hope u wite back
- Becky - UK
- We've just read Our day out
in school and I love it. The fact the children act like animals
and try to take them is hilarious. From Becky age 14
- Sue Reade - Manchester
- I have just seen Blood Brothers
for the first time. It was such a powerful experience that I
slept very badly afterwards. One of the thoughts that it provoked
was that a reverse scenario would be a more modern reflection
of society. One where the rich boy turned out to be a drop out
and the poor boy making the most of his opportunities, going
to university and making a good career for himself. The portrayal
of the different ages as the boys grew up,was superb. I'm sure
all such comments have been made before. I am a firm fan of Willy's
work. I also was an Open university student so I could identify
with Rita, but thankfully not with Shirley Valentine though I
have watched it many times including a theatre pruduction in
Liverpool. I listened to the Wrong boy on tape on a long drive.
It was fascinating. I knew I was going to enjoy Blood Brothers
and I wasn't disappointed. Thank you.
- Liz Roberts - St. Helens
- I hope you will soon release
Dancing Thru the Dark for DVD very shortly. I often look out
for it, but obviously it isn't available yet. I have a taped
copy which I watch quite often. The 80's was my era and it just
brings back very fond memories of my life back then. Please consider
this film for DVD release.
- Abi, Sophie and Fee (half
of our group) and the boys - Cheddar
hello, we are AS drama
students from Cheddar and we have recently been studying the
play Blood Brothers. We have also been researching into the life
of Willy Russell and his play "Blood Brothers" as part
of our coursework. We would like to ask. "What were the
religious aspects of the play and how do these affect the characters?"
We have seen Blood Brothers at the Phoenix theatre in London
and we thought it 'bloody' amazing. (appologies for that joke,
it was one of the boys) Although our was better (we decided to
do the non musical version as some of us weren't very good singers
- again referring to the boys). Thankyou for your time. Please
- M Nixon - UK
again I have just seen Blood Brothers for the 30th time at the
Phoenix Theatre, I would just like to say how refreshing it is
to see the role of Mrs J being portrayed by Linda & Maureen
Nolan both girls have excpetional talents and bring the play
up to the standards to which it deserves, lets hope that the
talents are also used on a new version of the CD which desperately
needs to be updated and reflects the requirements of todays theatre
- Ellen Mikkelsen - Norway/Southampton
Hello. My name is Ellen
Mikkelsen. I'm Norwegian but are currently studying in Southampton.
I went to see the play Blood Brothers! It was amazing! I have
a friend who's turning 21 during the summer and he loved the
play! He just want to go back and see it over and over again,
however it's too expensive. I was just wondering if it's possible
to get the musical on video or dvd? I really hope so. I have
already bought the cd! If it's not out yet..will it ever be available
on dvd or video?
- Greg Evans - Australia
Let me be the first
(probably not) to thank you Willy for reaching an agreement with
Granada for a DVD release of One Summer. I hope they do a nice
job of the transfer and do it justice. I'll be one of the first
to grab a copy. Thanks again.
- Shaun Hickey - Chester
please release one
summer it could never be bettered in any way or form i can still
remember some of the script like i watched it yesterday. 22 years
is a crime
- Sheila Fisher - UK
I originally went to
see blood brothers when I saw it advertised in my local paper,
I didn't know anything about the musical, not even where it was
set, until I read the programme at the theatre. As my family
are Liverpudlian I think apreciated the terms so much. I saw
that Linda Nolan was in it and had always liked her. I wanted
to see Linda in the performance out of curiosity that was the
reason that I first went. Little did I know that it would turn
me into not only a fan of Lindas but that I would become so addicted
to such a great musical. It is fantastic how it catches every
emotion. I can hardly describe it to friends, I can't tell them
it is a sad musical because some of the dialogue is absolutely
hilarious, including the comedy performances of a young Mickey
played fantastically by Sean Jones. Though I can't tell them
that it is hilarious, as all through the musical despite the
laughter and fun you know there is going to be a tragic end,
that leaves you quickly trying to wipe away the tears before
the lights go up. Now I am not only going to see the fabulous
actress and singer that is Linda Nolan I am going to see the
unbeleivably fantastic musical that is Blood Brothers. The quote
I read on the website 'If you haven't seen it go, if you have
go again' sums it up perfectly the first time I saw it I was
left with the humour of the performance though the second time
I was definately left feeling saddend by the tragic outcome.
I perform regularly in the theatre and have often thought about
a career in it and pushed it to the back of my mind in favour
of doing something 'normal'. Since seeing Blood Brothers I know
thats what I have to do. Its my dream, thanks so much for making
me realise it Linda Nolan and Willy Russell
- David Russell - USA
I am watching Shirley
Valentine, and have just spent the evening on the beach. Her
realizations, looking out over the water, after having the table
moved to the beach, are a sad realization of what I believe many
of us (people of the planet earth) suffer from. I wish I had
seen this production when it was released, and am in awe of the
insight of the author and his ability to portray reality enough
to draw the viewer into the world of Shirley Valentine. Shirley
and the barman are now swimming, oops, no Shirley just got laid.
(I type real slow) Absolutely incredible script that draws the
viewer into the role of Shirley's confidante. Bravo.
- Ruth Evans - Liverpool
I have just seen a
production of Stags and Hens and would like to ask a question
I have always wondered about. My brother who was from Liverpool
and about the same age as Willy was known as 'Kav' and was also
an artist although he never went to art school. I have always
wondered whether the character was based on my brother. He probably
would have been knocking round the Liverpool clubs at the same
time as Willy or maybe they went to the same school. I wondered
if Willy could answer this question for me.
- Chloe Sherriff - East Grinstead
Mr Russell, I am soon
to appear in Blood Brothers (The Play) as Mrs Johnston, with
my Local drama group in West Sussex. I have already been in Our
Day Out as Carole and absolutely loved it. I am writing to you
to ask what the possibility would be if i was to sing Tell me
its not true at the very end of the play? I am already singing
Marilyn Monroe (1) at the beginning, but it would just be great
if we could start and end the play on two great songs. You are
the most talented writer in the world and i am truly honoured
to be in yet another one of your great plays. Please read this
and contact me.
- Rob Whitehead - Durham
Sorry to hark on about
it, but 'One Summer' needs a DVD release. As a 16-year-old lad
moving to London to escape the relentless shite of a doomed northern
mining town, One Summer perfectly showed the reality of how it
was to be a teenager stuck in a no hope situation during a certain
period in British history. I could ramble on, but I won't. Please,
Willy, let the series be
released on DVD.
- Robbie Dickinson - Liverpool
Hi! I got this address
from the web site and would like to know if you are every going
to release Dancin through the dark on DVD? I've been looking
for it for years but but, obviously, if it has never been released
then I will never find it.
- Derek Edwards - Liverpool
Do you have a larger
print or scan of that picture on the website, of the Kirkby Town
Three in the Granada studios? Id love to see it closer
up. It was the day we met Elsie Tanner. Thats me on the
left, of course, with the guitar. Ive still got an old
Daily Post picture of when we played in the (C of E) cathedral.
But I dont have that one from our TV debut. Id love
to receive a scan of it, in as high a resolution as youve
got. All the best.
- C3Martin - Leicester
hi. reading our day
out great book
- Angel - Liverpool
hi. can you release
the play called our day out from 1976/7 about the kids from liverpool,,would
dearly love a copy as my uncle was in it and he now lives in
new zealand. cheers
- Paul Hamer - Stafford
If only for the superb
performances of David Morrisey and Spencer Leigh alone, then
One Summer should be released on DVD. I was 13 when it was first
screened, and was the big talking point with all the kids on
my first day in High School. I think it may have been repeated
around 1990, other than that much of the action is confined to
memory, although I do recall some brilliant dialogue..."My
whole life just flashed before my eyes...and it was still boring"
- Ikey soon after being attacked by a knifer...."I like
Mars Bars"...Ikey again when confronted by a conservationist
in Wales after feeding Mars Bars to birds ( which inevitably
die). Surely it is a must that this piece of work is released,
if I were you Willy, this is the one for which I'd wish to be
- Richard Boland - Coventry
dear willy. I played
Digger In your 1996 (Our Day Out) re-write at the belgrade theatre
and i just wanted to say thankyou! you might think im mad but
that show realy changed my life and all of the young cast im
sure would agree. we all had so much fun doing the show with
you and glen! and still to this day have friends from the show,
people always say your shows are "magic" to watch but
it is indescribable the magic you feel when you are in front
of 800 people in one of your shows!!! and i for one was proud
to be in the progress class and will be for the rest of my life!
thankyou for "the picture in our minds".
- Janet & Joe Naylory
Blood Brothers is an
immense musical that I first saw with Barbara Dickson. I have
also seen it with Kiki Dee and Lyn Paul and will be seeing it
again with the Nolan girl. Lets get it on DVD soon please !!!!
And while I'm asking, is there any possibility of Dancin Thru
the Dark being released on DVD ? I taped it off the telly years
ago but sadly its past its best.
- Guy Ellis - London
Willy. Please could
you allow One Summer to be released on DVD. It's the best thing
there's ever been on tele.
- Joseph Lynham - Dublin
I've seen Blood Brothers
nine times - fabulous. The current production in Dublin's Gaeity
Theatre is absolutely wonderful. Thanks Joe
- C6Kenney & C3Yeomans - Leicester
- hi this is a very educational
website with facts about willy all through his life thank you
very much xxxxx im a big fan of yours xxxxx
- Yvonne Waring - Scotland
- Dear Willy I'M PLAYING RITA!!!!
I have been cast as Rita in 'Educating Rita' and I'm so excited.
Practical Magic Theatre Company (based in Uddingston, Scotland)
have chosen me to play the part of your amazing character. She's
'bleedin' mad' and I just love her! Rehearsals are under way,
and are going well. I've never done a show with just two people
before. Intense but fantastic. Our run starts on March 17th 2005.
I woke up at 8am this morning (it's Sunday by the way), deciding
on the best costume changes I could think of. There isn't much
time between scenes, but I need to indicate the passage of time
between them, and my mind was racing on whether to wear the same
skirt for two scenes, but change my top and shoes, and so on,
and so on...! Aaaaagh! I've been sifting through charity shops
and found some really appropriate costumes, so when I couldn't
get back to sleep, I got up, and started parading about in short
skirts and various colours of stillettos! I'm looking forward
to playing Rita so much. I love reading and watching your work,
but to actually BE IN your work, is something truly magic. Thank
- Emma - UK
- A conversation in our design
studio the other day led to the discussion of childhood TV memories.
I was amazed at the strength of nostalgia that was evoked by
the recollection of One Summer. I am a 35 year oldie and would
love to be able to buy it on DVD. I could not say that I remember
many specific parts of the show, but I do know that it somehow
had a profound effect on me. I think that it would be a great
shame to deny our younger generation
access to this great work.
- Dean Notton - UK
- I am another admirer of One
Summer. As i young boy of 14 in 1983 it had a massive impact
on my whole outlook on life. I know the ongoing saga of trying
to get this released on DVD. I am sure the new generation would
be equally as influenced by it now as i was 22 years ago. Please
Willy think about releasing it, think of the social and moral
impact it could have again. Thanks.
- Curt Hardy - Rock Ferry
- Hiya Willy I am currently
in the middle of my GSCE in Performing Arts Course and my group
have got to celebrate the local area and we are celebrating your
fantastic playwriting and your also very good songwriting. I
would love it if you could reply to me and please give me some
more information to help me accomplish my GCSE. Thank You
- Tania Perkins - Portchester
- The first time I saw Blood
Brothers I fell in love with it, I thought it was brilliant,
so much so that would have loved to be in it, I belong to a local
drama group here in the south, we have staged many many productions,
I know that Blood Brothers is one the group would love to produce,
perhaps her could tell me, why is it not available for amateurs
- Terry Cunliffe - Newton-Le-Willows
- I just had to write and express
how much I enjoyed The Wrong Boy It made me laugh
like a drain. Made me cry, too. Since hearing a morsel of it
on Mike Hardings show, it went straight onto Santas
list. I empathised with Raymond on so many levels. Im sure
you got the inspiration for Raymonds dad from observing
me. Although Im happily married, my wife Lesley has enforced
a Cash-Converters exclusion zone, just in case I
see any more musical instruments. I can tell shes not really
listening when I enthuse, because she thinks Simon & Patrick
are two shop assistants there. She says things like; I
dont care if it sounds like a Martin, and; You
dont need a third mandolin. They just dont
understand. Do they? Youve probably guessed, Im an
old folky from Wayback, and so your CD Hoovering the Moon,
was another welcomed gift from Santa. Its hardly been off
the gramophone, and Ive driven Lesley mad with it. Being
a Rusby/McCuscker fan it was nice to hear their contributions
and accompaniments. I saw Kate and John with Andy Cutting at
the Lowry last year. She was breath-taking, yet at times, had
the audience in stitches. I was also delighted to hear that one
of my all-time heroes; Nic Jones was one of your choices on Mike
Hardings show. I saw him many times and he made me realise
just how good I wasnt. Ill conclude by reiterating
my pleasure in both the book and the music.
- Carol Reid - Liverpool
- The first 'proper' play I
saw was Blood Brothers at the Liverpool Empire back in the 80s.
Despite Kiki Dee's dodgy Liverpool accent I fell in love with
the story, and the songs are so moving. As a child I remember
seeing 'Our Day Out' and feeling a little defencive of the kids
in it, they were my classmates and peers and I related to them.
One Summer was another great story but I can see where Willy's
coming from when it comes to the casting - the actors were too
mature. I've recently completed an Open University Degree at
the grand old age of 40 and watching Educating Rita for the umpteenth
time brings it all back. The desire and 'need' for education
is so evident in that film. In the 1980s Thatcher considered
getting rid of institutions like the OU - educating 'the masses'
was not high on her agenda - but after the release of 'Rita'
many hundreds of new students enrolled and after protests at
parliament the OU is now as strong as ever. Thanks Willy.
- Rachel Burgess - UK
- Hi loved the book The Wrong
Boy. Absolutely love BLOOD BROTHERS Seen it 5 times and will
be watching it again in Manchester in May. Taking a few friends
to let them see the brilliance of the performance!!!
- Lisa Drysdale - Manchester
- I am also writing a plea to
release "One Summer" on DVD. I was also 16 at the time
it was aired on TV in 1983 and I wouldn't miss an episode for
anything as I really identified with the characters. The characters,
actors and storylines were brilliant and I would love to see
it again. I don't know all of the reasons why Willy Russell won't
let it be aired again but as over 20 years have passed, will
he reconsider ? Don't let other generations miss this and like
a previous poster stated, it would be such a pity for this series
to be sat on a shelf somewhere gathering dust. I just hope Willy
Russell reads this guestbook and realises just how much the public
enjoyed "One Summer" even if he didn't like the casting.
- David Heath - Leicester
- I've been thinking about One
Summer for so many years and decided tonight for some reason
to see if it was available on DVD/video. I was saddened to see
there is no planned re-release. It had such a strong impact on
me in my late teens back in 83 and am sure it's at least as relevant
today. What a fantastic script. Surely the youth of today deserve
a chance to see this classic as much as Billy and Icky deserved
a chance to get out of their situation.
- Beth Anni - UK
- well what to do about willys
work. I relate to it so much. The first play I ever saw in my
life was blood brothers in London, I went with the school when
I was 14 and was completelely over awed by it. I remember thinking
at the time that I was like Mickey, thats what my life was like
and I kind of wished it could have been more like Eddies. I grew
up on a rough council
estate in a little town right up north, the nearest big city
being about 100miles away..I was your typical comprehensive school
type kid, rough and ready and had seen things kids really shouldnt.
I was constantly getting excluded from school, skivving, doing
every drug going, drinking getting in trouble with the police..you
know the type. I failed most of my GCSEs barr getting a couple
of C's so when I was 16 I left school and began working in the
local biscuit factory..it was awful and I remember thinking 'this
is it..this is my life now..' so anyway its a long story and
I ended up going back to school; one teacher who had a little
bit of faith in me I suppose let me back in and I did A levels,
I was predicted to get three D's in my A level; few teachers
liked me and thought I was a time waster but I was determined
you know...well, I ended up getting 3 A's! Madness. I went to
university, first one in the family you know, hadnt a clue what
to expect, had never been out of my town really, never been abroad.
First year I hated it, I went to quite a prestigious uni, well
i wont name it but I lived in a hall with 8 other girls..everyone
of them had been to private school, everyone of them had money
coming out they're ears..mummy and daddy funded everything even
their little 'gap years' round the world where 'they had worked
with the poor primative tribes in thailand' (i just thought if
they wanted to see a bit a poverty they could have saved the
trip and come up north to my housing estate to see a bit of 'real
life') I hated it all, I hated them I hated my course I felt
so completely different. Well...you know whats coming....!!!!
Educating Rita! I only read the play
last year but f*** I related to it so much! By my second year
I had even changed my accent to sound more like them and fit
in.!! Crazy. My only saving grace was the drama society I joined
while I was there, I had never done drama before, plays or anything
but I found i could act and I loved it and here I could enjoy
being me just the way I was..it was good to be a gobby northerner..made
me different and appreciated. We performed 'Our Day Out' was
brilliant show, brilliant play, brilliant experience. I really
appreciated your work Willy so much it seemed to explain my life!!
So well anyway.. I graduated uni last year and now I'm really
hoping to go
to train (can you really train to be an actor???) to be an actor.
If I can ever afford drama school which is exteremely doubtful,
I dont fit in much in life anymore!! Not in a bad way just that
my friends and family up north think I'm up myself and posh cos
I went to uni and I never quite fit in with the people I met
at uni, I'll always be a bit rough and ready. But see on stage
it doesnt matter I can fit into any character. My experiences
in the past few years have taught me loads of different things
about life and people and I relate to willys plays so much they
have been a constant source of inspiration and in fact understanding.
So well done Willy..keep up the good work!!
- John Feasey - UK
- Hi Willy, another who has
very fond memories of One Summer and would love to be able to
buy it. Please release it on DVD.
- Pamela McCabe - UK
- Would so much like to see
One Summer again. It was the best thing on TV my whole teenage
years and now, as a 30-something I would love to revisit those
days. Why no chance of a repeat of this fabulous drama? I would
happily purchase my own copy on DVD or video if it was only available
as sadly the episodes I managed to tape back then were all on
- Mark Hepplestall - UK
- I was just wondering if you
have any plans to allow the release of One Summer so it can be
shown on TV or released on DVD. I have tried for ages to get
a copy but to no avail!!
- Jayne Dignam - UK
- Just wanted to say thanks.
I'm also making a plea for One Summer to be released on DVD please.
I don't know the ins and outs of why it hasn't been released
but I would just like to say it's a shame it isn't available.
One of the best dramas ever - seriously! It would be a shame
if it wasn't sitting on shelves all over the country to be taken
down regularly and watched and more importantly passed from generation
to generation. Classic is the word that springs to mind and classics
should be shared.
- Bianca Uffelmann - Germany
- I've just finished reading
"The Wrong Boy" for the second time - this time with
my advanced learners class at school (yep, I made them read all
the 500 something pages - in English!:). My kids at school and
I agreed on the fact that while this novel gets praised as a
"comic masterpiece", it is dead sad and tragic. When
I was reading it the first time, I really found myself laughing
out loud. Now, however, I'm rather at the edge of tears. As one
of my students put it: "In some scenes I just couldn't bear
it any longer and I would have liked to just throw the book away
and never to look at it again." I would really much appreciate
an answer for my pupils and for myself: Did you, Mr. Russell,
really intend this novel to be "a comic masterpiece?"
We'd rather say it's a tragedy, as Frank defines it in "Educating
Rita". Although it kind of ends well... In any case it's
a very strong book that leaves a deep impression on everyone
who read it. (And the kids enjoyed the broadening of their swearword
- Carl Webber - UK
- Don't know if anyone is aware
that on the DVD version of Shirley Valentine released a couple
of weeks ago it has been horribly dubbed to replace English phrases
with American ones......e.g replacing Cortina with Escort, replacing
MFI with K-Mart amongst others. This is really insulting to a
great British film, and also it is very obvious when watching
it that it's been dubbed..... shame on Paramount.
- Rod Arnold - UK
- After watching "One summer"
the other day, it also got me wondering about a film which came
out in the seventies called "Our day out". On the link
it states that it is still shown in schools. If so where can
I get a copy of it.
- Brian Jay - UK
- very recently had the pleasure
ov seeing Blood Brothers at the Mayflower theatre 27/11/04
Bxxxxdy brilliant made me cry at the end Linda Nolan was fantastic
as Mrs Johnston. The rest ov the cast were a joy to watch and
listen to. Powerfull ,funny at times BUT definatley moving.
Mickey`s potrail ov a depressive was so real (bin there done
that ) just added to the power and realism. loved the kidz games
as well. ONE critism...the sound track cd appears to have Linda
Nolan on it BUT. it aint her on there. WHEN are we gonna see
Blood Brothers on dvd???
- Stuart Robson - UK
- great site willy,i was thinking
why no availability in the high streets of the uk for one of
the best uk dramas ever produced.I remember being 13 and associating
in so many ways to the exploits of billy and ike.I feel the need
to be able to allow my now 13 year old son to watch such a classic
- Scott Valentine - UK
- My name is Scott I would just
like to say that myself and a good number of my friends from
around the area which I live would all love for Mr Russell. To
give the OK to either release the nineteen eighties classiic
one summer on dvd or give the go ahead to re run all episodes
on tv this program has got a lot of to say for our lives at the
time and it would be great for all of us to get to see it again
- Diane - UK
- I like many other visitors
to this site. Have seen Blood Brothers on numerous occasions
in various Theatres in the country. The play is mesmerising and
in turn addictive. The first time I seen Blood Brothers, Linda
Nolans performance blew me away. She is absolutely outstanding!!
However, on purchasing the Blood Brothers cd - much to my disappointment
she is nowhere to be seen. The cd contains what seems to be songs
by the original cast only. Surely as Blood Brothers remains popular
with people today a new cd should be created with performances
by the cast we see current shows not those from yester year.
Are there any plans for this to happen in future????
- Loulouhanna - UK
- im doing 'our day out' for
drama coursework i would like to know why he wrote this play
and what message he was trying to put forword this is an important
part of the course work please help.......
- June Traynor - UK
- I'd like to say thank you
for writing dancing thru the dark. I watched this film 20 years
ago. I don't know what made me think of the film but I have been
going mad trying to find a copy of this film. I have now found
one and I look forward to watching this film again.
- Emma Welch- Wales
- I had to write a few lines
to say how amazing Willy Russell is and how much i love blood
brothers. I have been to see it ten times now and each time i
can't help enjoying it more. it captivates the whole audience
and makes you go through so many emotions, you've tears in your
eyes from sadness, joy and of course laughter. I will continue
going to the play for many years to come and really hope that
one day it will be out on dvd so i can watch it to my hearts
content at home as well. Thank you Mr Russell
- Phil Brown - Blackpool
- I went for the 7th time to
see Blood Brothers last night and I never fail to be mesmerised
by it. The story is second to none and I love all of the songs.
The guy playing Mickey I have seen several times before and his
development from a young boy to a depressed adult is astounding.
It was a full house on a Tuesday night in Blackpool and as always
there was a huge standing ovation at the end - much deserved.
Linda Nolan was fantastic and the genuine emotion she felt came
through brilliantly. I have seen many brilliant shows but Blood
Brothers is head and shoulders above any other I have seen. I
only wish there was a video/DVD available of the live show. This
would allow me to watch it even more frequently. I hope Mr. Russell
may consider this at some point in the future.
- Ian Boddington - UK
- Hi, I just want to drop a
note off to say i can not get enough of Blood Brothers. I think
the music is top class and the musical well i have seen it 10
times so i think i like it, i hope it keeps on going. Thanks
- Alexandra L. Lesk - Beeston
- I just called into the BBC
Women's Hour in response to their request for nominations of
books that changed women's lives. I called in and nominated the
play "Shirley Valentine" which I remember seeing as
a matinee in Vancouver, Canada, when I was about 14 years old.
Besides my adolescent friend and I, the audience was full of
old biddies who were depressed by the play: they saw themselves
in Shirley, the married mother who never fulfilled her own potential.
I remember thinking to myself, my goodness, I am NOT going to
fall into that trap! And the red flags of male behaviour that
that play sensitized me to have served me well over the years.
Not to mention the more subliminal message of Greece being a
glorious escape....that only manifested itself by accident years
later as I find myself as an archaeologist who works in a sleepy
fishing village on the west coast of Greece every summer with
my lovely, adaptable, adventurous husband.
- Pete- North
- As from the age of 11 starring
in my school rehearsal of blood brothers (playing al capone in
the kids game scene) the play absolutely fascinated me, i then
had the chance to perform in front of hundreds at theatre clwyd
north wales. At the age of 15 i studied drama as an option for
courses at school and the course was on Blood Brothers and i
got the chance to go and see a performance at Liverpool, where
the play was set. After seeing this performance my love in Blood
Brother rose as it obviously was more gripping than a school
performance and i try to see as many shows now as i can (seen
5 in total) THANKYOU WILLY RUSSEL FOR WRITING SUCH A MARVELOUS
- Katy Russell - UK
- Wow, such well deseved praise
in this Guestbook, I feel privileged to be adding to it. I have
returned to college ( slightly younger than Rita at 26 and with
only 1 child in tow ) to do an Access to teaching course, one
of my studies is Literature and, I have been given the oppurtunity
to do a presentation on a playwright,. Having had experience
of your plays books and films, it was my first instinct to pick
you as my my presentation. Thankyou for being my inspiration,
and any advice or guidance you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
Once again thankyou, for making me laugh and cry and applaude
your brilliant works.
- Carl Schaschke- Glasgow
- Like Brian listed in this
guestbook, I too have heard a reading of The Nativity Play. It
is a superb narrative. With little kiddies of my own at the stage
of participating in School Nativity plays, I would dearly love
to see/read/hear again Willy's piece. Any chance?
- Richard Coleman - Poole
- Blood Brothers has to be the
most emotionally charged piece of theatre I have ever seen. If
you are not emotionally struck by Blood Brothers, you are not
human! I never thought a production would be able to hit me the
way this one has, but it is now something I will never forget
for life. I have seen Blood Brothers five times now and can't
wait to see it again. Last time I saw it there was a full house
Standing ovation at the end, as have other performances i have
been to. Willy Russel is fantastic the way he has managed to
make you go through so many feelings in just a few short hours
(happiness, fear, sadness, joy and desperation). Also you have
to credit the actors/actresses for their efforts and stunning
performances. Part of me wishes that Blood Brothers was out on
DVD/VHS so I Could watch it whenever I like (almost every day
I feel) and part of me is glad that it isn't because, it probably
wouldn't be in the theatre, which is where it belongs. Lets hope
to many more years of it being in the theatre. Thank you Willy
Russell for a stunning show.
- Kerrie Orton - Southport
- I was lucky enough to be invited
to 'look after' Willy and Tim during the days of friday and saturday,
in between their rehearsals for the nights performances in Liverpool.
My job was to make sure they had everything they needed and did
not have any problems. I was also able to watch both friday and
saturday's shows, soaking up the rest of the audience's amazed
reactions. Everyone was very impressed with what they saw and
heard. It was a great pleasure knowing that i had contributed
in my small way to everything. Willy and Tim were kind enough
to sign autographs for anyone who wanted (including me!). The
talented Willy has certainly given me the courage to pursue my
dream career in playwriting and possibly other behind-the-scenes
pathways involved in theatre. I just want to thank Willy for
being ever so nice to me and giving me a once in a life time
opportunity. Hopefully, i'll meet him again one day when i am
a famous playwrite, thanking him for being my inspiration.
- Helen Culshaw - UK
- Hi, brilliant website. Have
enjoyed Willy Russells work for as long as i can remember, especially
like dancin thru the dark, our day out and of course shirley
valentine. Unfortunately have never seen or read blood brothers
and daughter is reading it for her g.c.s.e., has this ever been
made into a film, If not is there any thoughts of it happening.
Know loads of people who have seen the stage version and thought
it fantastic. Good luck with website. Thanks Helen
- Andy Rozycki - UK
- Its amazing how one of TVs
greatest ever short series has never been released on either
VHS or DVD. As a young fella I grew up in the times of -: Icky,
Billy and Kidda. I have been told by various outlets that there
were plans to release - One Summer - last year but for some strange
reason it has been blocked by Willy. How could someone write
such an amazing piece and something so accurate and true to life
for its time and then 20 years later refuse to let it be released
for every one to enjoy. I thought writers wrote things for people
to read and watch not hide away in some channel four archive.
Come on Willy get your act together and let people who want to
release it - release it. Theres a whole host of people waiting
out here to re-live those years. Yours sincerely
- Vic Davis - Sheffield
- hi willy. great to see and
meet you at edinburgh last saturday. the show was pure magic
and will remain one of my favourite 90 minutes ever. best wishes
victor - from sheffield - and ps. your sheffield accent was spot
- Markmo - ?
- dear willy, just a quick plea
for the release of one summer. i know you wasn't happy about
the casting of billy&icky, but the success of the drama and
david morrisey since it was released, have been phenomenal. yorkshire
must have got something right, so please mr russell give your
blessing and give a lot of thirtysomething's a chance to re-live
their hope's, dream's and fear's with one summer.
- Angie Ryan
- Since seeing Barbara Dickson,
the McGann brothers, and John Conteh do Blood Brothers for the
first time in the 70's i've been an ardent fan of your great
musical. I've probably seen every production since then.
I was however disappointed on last Friday's, 21/11/03, show here
in Manchester with the fabulous Linda Nolan who I think has now
made the role her own. My disappointment came when the echo on
the mikes was repeated several times. The shots used in the last
act were so loud people jumped thus causing them to laugh at
what has to be the most heartbreaking point of your great work,
I also think Mrs. Johnston's devasation at losing her two sons
was lessened by the harmonies of Linda and your narrator. I think
the first two verses should be her alone.
I hope you take time to read this Mr. Russell, I would love to
know if you are exposed to the directors and how they handle
your great work? I'm hoping this is just an ambitious director
as I find Blood Brothers a flawless story.
- Kevin Hunt
- I (as many
seem to be) am a fan of your work. I would also ask that you
reconsider your decision on the DVD release of One Summer. At
the very least it deserves a repeat run on television.
- Abby -
- I am 15 and
from Liverpool. I recently went to see Blood Brothers with my
school drama class and before I went I did not enjoy the theatre
at all now I am going to see it again. Blood Brothers has made
me realise that I want to become an actress and has given me
so much inspiration. I related to the play so much and it makes
you proud to be from Liverpool European capital of culture. I
was gutted that we had to go and see it in Manchester though,
I would have preferred to see it in Liverpool. I really want
to become an actress now and would love one day to perform in
Blood Brothers myself my favourite character was mrs johnstone
who was played by Linda Nolan I think she is a great actress.
- Greg Evans
- Firstly congratulations
are due to Willy for not censoring his guestbook. I'd like to
extreme disappointment at the scrapping of the proposed DVD release
of One Summer, in my opinion one of the finest television dramas
ever produced. Please reconsider and do not keep this classic
- I find it
hard to believe the home page on the site features One Summer
amongst the rest of Mr Russells work yet he will not allow a
release of it on DVD !!! Why ?? Is there any chance of an explanation
from Willy ??
- Lucy Booth
- im readin
educatin rita @skool and its cool cos its got swear words in
so we can write them and say them out loud. we neva usually get
2! vvvv interestin luv lucy x keep rokin dude!
Scott-Davis - USA
- ONE SUMMER.
Why not release it on DVD? The greatest tv show ever. You are
letting the fans of this show down. Big time.
- Sue Taylor
- An outstanding
website - but then again Willy Russell is an outstanding playwright.
As a kid, Our Day Out reached me as no other piece of drama did.
Here was a play that was alive, vibrant and spoke my language.
As an adult, I made a beeline for the cinema to enjoy Educating
Rita and Shirley Valentine, but for some reason I have only recently
seen Blood Brothers and was so moved by Willy's writing and the
brilliant acting. And so to did my teenage children. Willy you
are a writer for all generations.
Higgins - Dublin
- After hearing
an interview with Willy Russell on Irish radio earlier this year
and hearing a couple of numbers from "Hoovering the Moon"
I have been frantic trying to purchase it - and today I have
finally tracked it down. Can't wait to get it and play it. I
will let you know what I think when I finally get my hands on
- Linda Fletcher
- Congrats on
a great site. I'd the opportunity of seeing Willy Russell and
the gig he did with Tim Firth in Galway earlier this year. I
went along expecting a purely literary evening and was knocked
out to see the man (men!) fronting a ten piece band. Some great
songs (as well as literary content) from both these playwrights.
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