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Guestbook Archive...

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 find…
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 it definate.
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 don’t 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 what’s 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 you like … <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 "blood brothers"?
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, I’m 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. Best Wishes
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 Stag’s and Hen’s 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 Danny’s house, says “we’ll even paint it back to normal when the final’s over.” In the TV programme, however, the houses are stone, so how can you paint it back to stone ? This is why I’m 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 else.
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 Cheers xx
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 Wishes
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. regards
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 don’t 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 couldn’t 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 poem.
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 a blessing.
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. ruthx
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 read
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, Liverpool
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. Many thanks
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 Ireland
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, it’s 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 for it?
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 greatfull. thanks
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. Thanks
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 college’s 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, Australia
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?? Thanks, Martina
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 posterity.
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’. It’s absolutely amazing, I loved it! Cheers.
Susan Hillyer - Buenos Aires
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 away!
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, that’s 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 Wales
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 - Wigan
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 1970s
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 – couldn’t 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 100’s 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.... Didn’t 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 times.
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 food.
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 I’m Zoe I’m 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 Trent
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 success?
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 the wait!
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 2006!
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 play.
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. Many thanks!
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.
True genius.
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 Russell.
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... Thanks Willy
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!!!!! Thanks
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 School
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. I’d like to write something classy such as ‘one was delighted’ but I’m 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 I’m not afraid to share with you – was at a gig in Liverpool -a lovely young lady in the toilets of a working men’s club pointed her cigarette and said ‘You with band, you were f***ing last!’)
(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 me. Thanks.
RoseMarie Ann Day Soanes - UK
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 it
Delightfulldecor - USA
Great Site! Keep up the good work.
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 thanks.
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 Reply
M Nixon - UK
Congratulations once 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 goers.
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? I’d love to see it closer up. It was the day we met Elsie Tanner. That’s me on the left, of course, with the guitar. I’ve still got an old Daily Post picture of when we played in the (C of E) cathedral. But I don’t have that one from our TV debut. I’d love to receive a scan of it, in as high a resolution as you’ve 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 remembered.
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 - UK
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 you.
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 to do?
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 Harding’s show, it went straight onto Santa’s list. I empathised with Raymond on so many levels. I’m sure you got the inspiration for Raymond’s dad from observing me. Although I’m happily married, my wife Lesley has enforced a ‘Cash-Converters’ exclusion zone, just in case I see any more musical instruments. I can tell she’s not really listening when I enthuse, because she thinks Simon & Patrick are two shop assistants there. She says things like; ‘I don’t care if it sounds like a Martin,’ and; ‘You don’t need a third mandolin.’ They just don’t understand. Do they? You’ve probably guessed, I’m an old folky from Wayback, and so your CD ‘Hoovering the Moon,’ was another welcomed gift from Santa. It’s hardly been off the gramophone, and I’ve 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 Harding’s show. I saw him many times and he made me realise just how good I wasn’t. I’ll 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 Betamax!!!!How sad!
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 horizon:*)
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 drama. regards.
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 thank you
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 Wales
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 PLAY
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 TV’s 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 on!!!
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 - Manchester
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 - Manchester
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 - Liverpool
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 - Australia
Firstly congratulations are due to Willy for not censoring his guestbook. I'd like to express my
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 buried.
Jonathan - Manchester
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!
Stuart 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 - UK
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.
Eileen 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 it.
Linda Fletcher - Eire
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. Cheers

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