This is the place where you can air your views on Willy Russell's plays, the musical - BLOOD BROTHERS, his novel - WRONG BOY, the new CD - HOOVERING THE MOON. So come on - if you've been to see BLOOD BROTHERS, or have performed in one of Willy Russell's plays at college or school, read WRONG BOY and found yourself laughing out loud in front of complete strangers, or enjoyed tracks from Willy's album, HOOVERING THE MOON - let us know. The points raised here are often answered in Willy Russell.com's regular newsletters.
Sacha Vormawah - Liverpool
hi are there going to be auditions for Our Day Out in 2010?
Debbie Miles - Essex
I am just about to embark on a run of performances of Shirley Valentine in my area and am at both excited and pertrified. To be up there on your own and to have to do such justice to such a deserving script is a very daunting prospect! Lets hope my passion for Willy Russells's great works will show through!!
Wendy Lee-Forrester - Wirral
Can you tell me where I can get hold of a copy of 'The Daughter's of Albion', one of Willy Russell's very early plays, is it still in print and if not any ideas where I might get a copy? Our amateur society would like to perform it. Many thanks.
The Daughters of Albion is out of print. But a search reveals several libraries and collectors book shops have a copy of a book entitled 'Opportunity Knocks' containing the scripts for the play and another by a different writer. It was published by Heinemann (Floodlights) Educational in 1986 and edited by Ray Speakman. Permission to perform will be needed from Casarotto Ramsey. Link from the RESOURCES PAGE.
Dan R - New York
Love the site. Are there any plans to make available the wonderful South Bank Show on Willy? Would love to see it again. Thanks.
Glad you like the site. We have plans to add several video snippetts during the next few months. The South Bank Show could well be on that list. Stay tuned...
Julie Brandon - Derby
I just heard your radio adaptation of Educating Rita. I was hooked from start to finish, thoroughly enjoyed it and, if I'm allowed to say, I think it worked considerably better on radio than the well regarded film (the irony of the parallel to Rita's comment about Peer Gynt only hit me as I started typing this.) I imagine this radio play was closer to the stage show than the film? I wish now that I had gotten the opportunity to see it on theatre first. Congratulations, a really fantastic radio play!
Anthony Waldman - London
Just finished listening to the radio play "Educating Rita". I failed the 11+ and I left school aged 16 in 1960 with no qualifications. I soon found myself working in a street market. When I was 21 a met an American girl who was on a cycling tour of Europe. Unlike the rest of her group she was not a student and she was a little older than the others. She had raised the money for the trip by waitressing and saving all her tips. Anyway, her plan was to go to a community college in California and qualify to go to university. We exchanged letters for a couple of years and I found her enthusiasm for an education infectious. None of my family of friends had gone to university but I did. It is a long story but I eventually received a B.A (hons) B.Ed. Diploma in Management Studies and a Diploma in Counselling. I retired from teaching 2 years ago. I taught in English, Canadian and American schools. "Educating Rita" brings it all back - the struggle to get an education.
Malcolm McLeod - Ormond by the Sea, Florida
Just listening to the Blood Brothers soundtrack again, prompted me to say 'thank you Willie'. what a great talent and such wonderful stories, we love all your work and even 40 years gone from "the pool", you evoke such emotion in us both, we look forward to reading and seeing more of the Wonderful Willie Russell. Thanks again!
Sadie Jarvis - Devon
hi mr russel.
first i would like to say thank you. blood brothers touched me so much i am now at university studying creative writing and applied drama. your work inspired me so thank you. second tell me its not true sung by linda nolan (which i have seen 7 times in the pheonix) is my all time fave song. and third i have a question. in the narrators into he says "and have you ever heard of the mother so cold there's a stone in place of her heart", why does he say this as mrs j is such a warm loving character?
Sally-Louise Attfield- Somerset
Hello, i am a 16 year old girl, currently sat in my english lesson arguing with the boy sitting next to me, he would like to know if Rita from Educating Rita, is a lesbian. Apparently "There is no proof in the book that she isn't"
Can anyone please tell me the answer to this? I know its a stupid question but if i don't get the answer he'll think he's right.
And by the same 'logic' Hamlet could be a transvestite, Homer Simpson could be a pomegranate, Gavin and Stacey could be traffic cones and Harry Potter could be a bowl of muesli! The boy sitting next to Sally-Louise is either a complete pillock or, more probably, fancies her. If Sally-Louise has no reciprocal feelings I suggest she moves to another desk.
Rebeca Moores - Prescot
Hi there. I went to see Our Day Out- the musical at the royal court on the friday before it stopped, my grandad is Billy Moores who played the original coach driver in Our Day Out the film and Billy would like to congratulate Willy on the 5star performance he created. He would also like to thank Mikey Starke who portrayed his character 500%. Thanks
Paula Phipps - Orlando Florida
I had a Shirley Valentine moment last year.....fed up with my life in England, my job, my husband, I left and opened my own music venue in Orlando, with my 18 year old daughter. We left everything behind, friends, family, home EVERYTHING. Started a business I knew nothing about, in a slow economy, we gambled everything.
My daughter is now at the best college in the southern States. I despite being middle aged, have helped the lonely, the strange, and just plain weird have a place to hang out and play music. I drive a mustang, go to the beach on Sundays and am having a ball........ write about me.... I'm having a second chance on life!!!
Deborah Butler - Manchester
Another massive fan of all your work but please let us know if there are any plans to put Dancin thru the Dark onto dvd. My VHS copy is almost worn out.
Amanda Durley - Southampton
Saw Blood Brothers again recently, my favorite play ever! Have an ambition to be in it one day at the west end!
Annette Hutchinson - Wolverhampton
I am looking to perform Our Day Out in school next year. I have just researched the play and found that a new updated version has been written with new songs for a recent performance at L'pool Playhouse - is this now available to schools?
Publication of the new version is planned but it probably won't be available until next year. Meanwhile the original Our Day Out is available for schools.
Avis Davies - Chester
Last night of Our Day out FAB-U-LOUS entire cast was great. We had table at front and were so moved at the kids crying when it finished! Didn't think the play could be bettered but music did not detract from drama. Lovely to catch a glimpse of Willy and Alan Bleasedale too - perfect night out!
Taylor Fowlis – Liverpool
i am tylor i was in our day out the stage musical i miss it sooo much i actually cried all weekend. big shout out to everyone in the cast missin you most rio joe (s) chris and jack.
Michael Westby - Ormskirk
Just been to see 'Our Day Out' with the wife and kids at the Royal Court in Liverpool, one word - 'Fantastic!' I was brought to tears with the performance of a truely fantastic cast, especially the kids. I would never have had me down as a theatre goer but give me the theatre over football any day.
Roger Geronimo - St. Augustine, Florida USA
Greetings from the USA, Blood Brothers is the most asked about musical not playing in the States. Do you know when there may be another tour of this incredible musical for us who adore it in the States. Thank you and best wishes.
Christine Stringer - Northern Ireland
My class are all in tears as we have recieved news that we cannot have a license to perform Blood Brothers the musical. Any chance PLEASE Willy? We are a very special school who educate Catholic and Protestant children together in Northern Ireland and Drama is very important in helping to improve mutual understanding. HELP PLEASE
It is a misunderstanding to think that the musical rights for BLOOD BROTHERS are Willy Russell’s to grant. The rights are owned by Bill Kenwright Ltd and whilst the production is touring the UK (and Northern Ireland) and showing in the West End, it is unlikely that those rights will be granted. However Blood Brothers - the play is available for schools.
Steve Smith – St. Helens
A big thank you for making 'Our Day Out' available to watch online. I had given up trying to purchase the title after years on the look out.
Russell Sanders – Houston, USA
I saw John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert in London in the seventies. I thought it was brilliant! Has it ever been published? I would love to relive it by reading it, since no productions seem imminent.
Lorraien Rees – St Helens
Just been to see Our Day Out at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool and really enjoyed it. Is there a CD of the songs or any plans to release one.
Jo Berry – West Midlands
I am sorry if I am one of many asking this question, but why has 'Dancin thru the dark' not been released on DVD yet? It's one of my favourite movies of all time and I am desperate to see it again. Are there any plans?
Kris Hill - Cardiff
Love all your work, but like so many people I am deperate to own a copie of Dancin Thru the Dark on DVD.
Kelvin Robertson – New York
Yesterday at THE SAVAGE CLUB in Sydney the guest speaker Amanda Muggleton did some excepts from SHIRLEY VALENTINE. Anyway I had never heard of this stuff before and was SUITABLY IMPRESSED. This is really great writing far superior and funnier too than THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES which it predates. Last year I had upset some people in the dance world I work with in New York with my VAGINA DITTIES. Well it turns out my VAGINA DITTIES are kind of tame compared your SHIRLEY VALENTINE MONOLOGUE.
Sandra Kurz - Switzerland
Dear Willy Russell, Thank you for "The Wrong Boy"! It's amazing
Kate Lyons - Liverpool
Just been to see "Our Day Out" the Musical with Andrew Schofield and Micky Stark. Brilliant!!! Modern day take on the original Film. The kids in the production had SO much talent. Just shows how much up-and -coming talent there is in Liverpool.
My wife and I went to see 'Our Day Out' last night in Liverpool. We go to see Drew Schofield in any play or musical and he was wonderful as expected as were the other adults in the cast. However, the children are the real stars of this production and they have most of the good lines. Well done Willie …
Stephen Webster - Tokyo
Just over a week from now, I will see Blood Brothers production in Tokyo. I must have seen various west end productions 5/6 times by now. I am nervous as to how such English a play will translate to a very diferent culture. Raw emotion yes..but the subtle and yet simple lines ..can they be translated so well ? Well my japanese is so so ..il ask my japanese friend but she will be in floods of tears I suspect.
Bernadette Feeney - Niagara, Canada
Hello. I have had the honour of performing Rita from Educating rita for many years and within the last 9 years have now grown into Shirley... I am currently performing SV in Niagara Falls and really have to applaud the brilliance of the script - even after 9 years I find something new every time I take her skin. Tomorrow I start rehearsals for Mrs Johnson in Blood Brothers - I feel very lucky to have played all 3 roles - and would love the opportunity of speaking with you one day -if you ever find yourself on this side of the pond please please look us up ! coming from Warrington myself in the mid 70's emmigrating to canada - everytime i put on the ap on i feel as though i am home.
Amy Rice - County Down Dear Willy, i am a fifth year pupil currently reading your book, "Blood Brothers" in my english class. We have only just started it, but it is amazing. we are doing research on the authors so i would love to know what drove you to write this book, and any thing else useful that would help. thank you
Claudia Puri - East London Hi there Willy! It's Sunday night and my husband and two boys are watching the football highlights. Every time they do this I think of your drama 'Terraces'. I have tried to explain the story to my 11 year old son and he seems transfixed. I have just Googled 'Terraces DVD' and have found, much to my dissapointment, that it's not available. Could you tell me if it will be screened on TV sometime soon? I managed to show my son the short clip on this website-but it's left him wanting to see more! I love all your work. Keep on keeping on!
Christina Silcox - Wilmington, USA I am a psychotherapist in private practice in Wilmington, USA. For MANY years have had my clients watch "Shirley Valentine". I have personally watched it 28 times!! It is absolutely the most profound movie which creatively shows the loss and reclaiming of the Authentic Self---a fight for truly living Life vs. just existing. I think every woman and her spouse should watch this movie. I plan to offer a workshop on the loss and reclamation of the Authentic Self and will refer to your movie in an attempt to help women recognize how and when they abandon their true Self. Also, for men who are conditioned to "live" a deadened life. In my most optimistic fantasy, I would love to hear back from you on how you created such an incredible play/movie. I, as many others, was shocked when I learned the writer was a man. Bravo!! Thank you so much for such an amazing, profound, inspiring, and accurate of the human condition. You have helped me so much in my work and I am grateful to you. More... I just sent an email and then read some of the comments on your site which included an inquiry about a sequel to "Shirley Valentine". I totally and enthusiastically agree and hope that you will consider reuniting the cast for what happens next to Shirley, Joe, and Costas--also Jillian, Jane, and Marjorie. As a woman from that age group, I think it would be great fun to see how that all adjust to the next Life Challenges and insights --- here surely have to be many!! Please consider going to the next level. You are brilliant and your Shirley Valentine story is too good to retire!
Gordon Smith - Scotland Well, Willy, I first came across you from the stage plays of Educating Rita and Blood Brothers in Glasgow. Pure brilliance ! That was almost 25 years ago...... and they are still fabulous. You are an inspiration to the working class. Always & forever
Michael Rosenberger - Dusseldorf, Germany Dear Mr. Russell, I just read your novel "The Wrong Boy" and it touched me to the bottom of my heart ... It was such a great experience reading it and I want to thank you for the story, which is full of outstanding ideas ... I hope, that it won´t be the last novel from Willy Russell??? With best regards
Dai Short - Chesham Hi, please please please release Dancin' Thru the Dark, I just love that movie, and the scene in the pub where they play that tune is one of my favourite movie moments ever. DVD or download, will happily pay the price, cheers Dai
Liz Lever - Whitefield hi i've just discovered this web page and was interested in reading the guestboook comments from allan steven, steve williams and paul wilkinson. I too was a member of cateysaints some thirty seven years ago at the Edinburgh fringe festival. Sam O'shanker was'my' play. if I remember rightly my opening line was Ovvies Eth 'appen he's workin' ovvies (with apologies for any mis spelling) Many happy memories of those weeks and I remember the cafe down the road making scouse for us. I last saw you willie in Manchester at Waterstones when you were giving a book reading from the Wrong Boy
I will be back on Taggert Avenue on Sat july 4th with some memories of Cateysaints and BlindScouse at a St Kaths reunion lunch
Dot Clarke - Chesterfield Hi, Just a request that you release Blood Brothers for amateur use, even if you restrict it to Schools by limiting the age group to 19 and under. I have a small musical theatre, drama school which is non profit making, none of us gets paid ! However I seem to have 'kids' passing through who are always looking for a challenge. Indeed they have just performed Sweeney Todd, the adult version, not the school version and received a standing ovation in the Pomegranate Theatre in Chesterfield. They need stimulating and I really do not want to go down the route of the overdone Rogers and Hammerstein shows. We are desperate to tackle Blood Brothers as I am sure we can get the emotion and atmosphere required. We managed to get the audience in tears with West Side Story! Please, Please Please consider releasing it even if it is for a short time and under some supervision from yourself.
Tony Cummings - Manchester I saw Blood Brothers about seven years ago in the west end and after reading about your back ground on the net as both a songwriter and Author felt inspired to write a stage musical. The show is now in the hands of a very reputable West end producer and is creating a lot of interest at the moment. You are such an inspiration Willy to normal people like me who felt that if I just gave it a go, things might start to work out and I can live out my dreams. Don’t be afraid of trying people, Don’t listen to your critics. Listen to your heart instead and maybe you, can one day soar. Would love to meet you sometime in the future Willy to say thanks and shake your hand personally. Cheers and if you get a chance. Kind regards
John Clark - West Midlands The first time I ever went to the theatre was in 1974. I was at school in Cardiff and we had a school trip to London. I was 14 years old at the time. One of the things we did on this trip was to go to the theatre, which we did and we saw John Paul George Ringo and Bert. Shortly after that I went blind through a shooting accident. I have been attempting to get the play in braille without success. Please would you tell me how much the script costs so that I may purchase it and then get it transcribed into braille by the royal national institute for the blind. Thank you very much.
Bethany Marshall - Beverley Hello, my GCSE drama teacher at school is your great niece and my whole drama class is in love with Blood Brothers. We would greatly appreciate if you could come in for a talk one day.
Ollie Wolsey - England when you went to school did you ever experience the robbery of a shop in our day out.
Jasmine Moss - Stratford Heya, we are learning about one of your plays called our day out. I have a friend from liverpool her name is Laura Homan she wanted to speak to can i have your number please she is very intrested in you, she never concentrates on work this much ever but she is being very smart at the momement please write. :) Jasmine
Laura Homan - Liverpool Hii it's Laura, im from Liverpool (: x
Ermm i'd just like to say, were learning about one of your play's Our Day Out.
Our teacher has asked me and my friend Jasmine Moss to come and see if we can talk to you, or get number or something, would that be possible?
please write back, thankyou.
P.s i think the play is really good (:
Esther Odelowo - UK Hi my names Esther Odelowo and im 16 years old. im studying blood brothers as my drama gcse and i went to watch blood brothers and it was amazing..not only because it was my first time seeing anything in a theatre but because i generally loved it! i just wanted 2 ask you why you wrote it, what inspired you to write it. i should already know but hearing it or at least seeing it would help me alot. Thankz
Stephy Keilaus - Birkenhead Hi I attended the workshop for Our Day Out and I was asked to stay for the day, it was fantastic. I was just wondering if you had chosen the cast yet? I do hope that you havn't and that you are still deciding. I t is my dream to be cast in one of your productions. I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed. Take Care
Helen Hutchinson - Cheshire Remember Us? Helen Chris and Paula. We were extras in Shirley and we met you in Mykonos.
Andy Smith - Telscombe Cliffs hey, what about doing a shirley valentine 20 years later all the cast are still kicking, the magic of greece with seeing how shirley has made out, one of my fav films with a feel good factor, people love films with good endings seeing shirley get on in life and living her dream
Michelle Cudworth - Deal, Kent I just have to say how much i admire you for making Blood Brothers. Having studied it at school (many moons ago), i have just returned from seeing the musical in London for the 2nd time. It has to be the best musical of all time. Thankyou for bringing us such an amazing musical.
Jade Vinter - Clacton-on-Sea Hi, I am an A level student and have picked a monologue from Breezeblock Park using Sandra as my character. I have now mastered the Liverpudlian accent but would be very grateful if you could give me any other pointers to help with my delivery.
Play acting is the path i would love to take after my A levels; how can i find out about auditions for your plays.
Thank you for your time and advice
Pete Hart - Matlock Hello. I'm very glad to hear that Hoovering the Moon has been relaunched. I bought it about 18 months ago and I've played it so often the CD is bound to wear out soon. The songs are fantastic, I particularly love the second verse of "Tupperware Girls" and the line "we keep his ashes in the caddy so be careful what you're brewing." Are there any plans for another album or any live gigs?
Liz Jones - The Wirral Mr. Russell please can you help stop the closure of the libraries on the Wirral!! I am 22 and practically grew up in Irby library, it's inspired me to become an illustrator and I still spend alot of time there! It'll be heart breaking to see it close! Is there any way you can help?? Please!! I will be forever in your debt if you can help me save this library!! Thank you for reading this, from Liz
- Belfast Could you please tell me when Blood Brothers will be back performing at a theatre in Belfast? Seen the play nearly 2 years ago and still remember it like it was only yesterday. Never known anything like it... one word to describe this play, unique! In every possible way this play took my breath away. Amazing, no other way to describe it.
Lovely comments Moe. Best stay tuned to the WHAT'S ON page or Bill Kenwright's (the producer) website for news of venues.
Lindsay Quayle - Peel, Isle of Man I am performing Shirley Valenitne in Peel in March. It will be the 2nd time I have performed it, the first time was in 2002 . I love it, it is my favourite One Woman Show and was the first time I had ever done a One Woman show, I have now done 4 shows by other playwrites. I will be too old to play Shirley much longer so doing it one final time for 2 nights. All money I raise goes to Charity.
Suzanne Russell - Liverpool I would dearly love to have the chance to audition for one of your plays, how do i get to find out when they are on?
Janet Royce - Formby Will Our Day Out tickets be on sale soon? It is my personal favorite takes me back to my school days and there was a young girl in my street as a child that was an extra and I was so jealous haha. Will be buying tickets as soon as they are released. Love your work Willy.
- Scotland i am writing to ask if BLOOD BROTHERS has ever been on dvd as i am desperate to see it and i am housebound with severe mobility problems i have not been able to get out of the house in 5 years and could never get to the local tours.
i hope some one can help
Sorry Kathleen, no DVD of Blood Brothers is available.
Marrilynne Taylor - Wem, Shropshire I was born and brought up on Merseyside and lived there until 11years ago, when I moved to Shropshire to pursue my carear as social worker. I graduated from John Moores uni in 1991 and again in 1995 from Liverpool uni.
I have always been a fan of Willy Russells work
I would love to see his novel The Wrong Boy converted into a play and hope he writes further novels. I particularly relate to Educating Rita as I returned to education as a mature student having not particularly been successful during my school years.
In April of last year I wrote a poem. My poetry writing just snowballed from there and I have written over a hundred poems.
Kaz Gordon - Leicester I have always loved all of Willy's work though my favourite is Blood Brothers which I've seen 25 times. Therefore I was particularly excited to hear on Movie Connections that there may be film of Blood Brothers. Do we have any news of when and who will be in it? Keep up the good work!
Derbeyshire - Manchester I have watched the DVD of Shirley V many many times and its one of my fav of my collection, and as my years transpire I enjoy more and more. A few years ago in Vegas with my then husband he stopped our marriage when he was so upset my having to eat in Mac Donalds in the MGM Grand (children loved this and had been travelling 6 hours). He was so upset he threw the tray across to me and it landed in my lap. People heard and saw this and I was distraught but I then just had a flash back of Shirley and knew I could get through this and from that day I fought back, lost the husband but gained dignity and love Shirley V so much more!! Thankyou, you are amazing xx
Stephy Keilaus - Birkenhead
Hi just to say thanks to everybody who was at the workshop for Our Day Out. I had a fantastic time and I was really pleased that I was asked to stay for the afternoon workshop. It was really nice to meet with you and talk to you. Thankyou.
- Manchester I am writing to say I am in awe of you as a writer, as many of your fans would agree. I was wondering where you find the inspiration from? I watched Shirley Valentineon TV last night, not seen it for 10 years, I loved every second of it, the jokes, the irony, the satire, the sadness....from a fan, and a frustrated writer looking for some inspiration. Amelya x
Don't forget to watch SHIRLEY VALENTINE on Movie Connections tonight on BBC1 at 10:45pm.
JH - London hi i am a 15 year old boy studying you and your musical blood brothers i would like to know why you wote blood brothers? thanks.
Kia Taylor - Bletchley Hi Willy, Kia again here. Just wondering how you have been, we have just read and watched Educating Rita, i was touched it was fantastic. some of my class mates read along in the roll of Rita and Frank I think they did a pretty good job of it. I would like to here from you. or even meet up with you some day. you are such a good influence to us in our class and the rest of the English department. It would be an honour if you could come to Lord Grey and sign some of our books we have in the school library.
thanks for every thing willy
lots of love Kia, the class of 10x3 and the English Department. xxxxxxxxx
- Wrexham hi i just wanted to say thank you to you and bob and all the team at the royal court for a brill day yesterday at the workshops for our day out. I was really nervous at the start and amazed that i got through to the afternoon and evening auditions and then i got to meet you to and sing and act for you i just wanted to say it was really great much better than being in school though the dinners were about the same as school good job my mum sent me some sandwiches just in case, hope i get through. love megan
Workshops for OUR DAY OUT - The Musical were held for a new production at Liverpool's Royal Court Theatre.
- Essex Mr Russell; For the past two months my GCSE drama class and I have been reading, evaluating and even acting out your play, Blood Brothers. In late November of last year we visited the amazing London West-End to watch the musical version of your play being ran currently, And I must say, It took my breath away. Even though our class had read the play before hand in class, I'll admit I still screamed and cried at the end. It was quite spectacular and very much enjoyable. So hats off to you sir and thank you.
- Liverpool Dear Willy, as this is "Burns' Night" it got me thinking about "Tam o' Shanter", & I remembered seeing your "Sam o' Shanker" at the Edinburgh festival in the 70's. ( Can't remember if it was at the Travis).
I had not long been married, & my husband & I were seeing 3 shows a day!- fantastic! However, your "Sam" was the highlight. We were absolutely in stitches-maybe because we were from Liverpool, but we really thought it was hysterical!
Seen lots of your work since, at Everyman, Playhouse, etc., but "Sam" stands out for me!
- Germany Dear Mr Russell. I'm supposed to do my presentation on you. Actually, this presentation was meant to be held today, but our laptop crashed down. So we watched the film on "Educating Rita" first. Now the problem, I'm going to face is, that you did a very good job. Because when they all know the film (and some of them may even know the play as well), there's nothing left to say. It simply speaks for itself and I feel, there's nothing important, I could tell them about it. So, congratulations Mr Russell! Thank you for such a nice work, though I still don't know what to do with my presentation.
Sophie - London Hi I have two questions about Shirley Valentine which I might not understand as I am an American living in the UK. My friend from Manchester told me that a chuckie egg is a boiled egg you eat from an egg cup - but why does Shirley pretend to tell Joe that she will leave him to enjoy his Chuckie egg when she made him a fried egg? I'm guessing that Chuckie egg is a term you use for kids so she's trying to belittle him?
Also - later she says that she made the chips real nice - she cooked them in oil (I am paraphrasing). What is so special about using oil to make chips? another friend said it might be because she didn't make oven chips but I don't think this is right. Can you please explain to an outsider? Thank you!
Kia Taylor - Milton Keynes Hello Willy, i am a 14 year old school girl and we have been focusing on some of you plays in English. i am very touched by some of your plays especially Blood Brothers. I would love to meet you in person you seem like a lovely person, and i was amazed by the fact that you help and 'sagged' of off school only at the age of 13. please get back to me i cant wait to hear from you.
lots of love.
Sian Smith - Cardiff Is the ending of Blood Brothers supposed to be ambiguous? Is it deliberately hard to work out whether Mickey shoots Eddie on purpose?
On one hand, it would be quite hard to pull a trigger by accident, even if you are 'waving' a gun about. On the other hand, Mickey says 'No' immediately afterwards suggesting that he didn't mean to shoot him. Could you tell us please?
Eve Jones - Liverpool Loved 'In his own words'. Thank you.
Is it possible to buy the Christmas card which you read at the Phil.?
Neil Williams - Teddington I recently watch One Summer on DVD I forgotten how was a great series this was. I had also not made the connection with the young David Morrissey. We can thank you for his discovery. I remember it being screened on Channel 4 and thinking how controversial it was. It strangely given it's 25 years has not lost the controversial element. It also still seems so relevant.
Anyway just a word to say it was great 25 years ago and certainly stands up now.
David Holmes - Chester Dear Willy. The Chester Chronicle is trying to garner support from well-known people for our campaign to reopen the city's Gateway Theatre.
You may already be aware that the Gateway Theatre closed in February 2007 to make way for a regeneration scheme, including a new performing arts centre, but the whole thing is officially on hold until 2012 at the earliest because of the credit crunch, with no guarantee it will ever happen.
The building is still intact and part of it is used by local amateur group Tip Top, who are about to stage your play Breezeblock Park, but the main auditorium needs about £1m spending on it to bring it up to standard.
We are not seeking financial support but an endorsement for our campaign to bring the theatre back into use for the good of the arts in the city.
If you can support our campaign in the form of a few lines of text we would be most grateful.
Becky B - London All i really came on here to do was thank you Willy. You are the playwright who has inspired me to become an actor, to write my own material and become even more passionate about the theatre. When i first watched Educating Rita, i was blown away. It is my favourite film of all time and has inspired me in so many ways. You are one of the reasons that i am deeply in love with literature and theatre. Thanks, becky x
Hernando Silvero - Paraguay I apologise for using this form to make an inquiry but I was unable to download your e-mail address.
We are a small charity in Paraguay. Our main activity is language teaching and have been asked to support a small amateur theatrical group which would like to stage Educating Rita. I should be most grateful if you could direct me to the appropriate representative to discuss theatre rights.
Lisa Taylor - Worcestershire Re Dancing Thru the Dark. This is one of my all time favourite films and I am so disappointed it is not available to buy on DVD. Can't we set up some sort of petition. I had the video and stupidly lent it to a friend after raving about it and never got it back! I miss it. I've seen most of Willy's work and Dancing and Blood Brothers are my ultimate favourity although Educating Rita comes very close. Oh lets just face it the man's a genius!
Natham Taylor - Portsmouth
All i can say about Blood brothers is that it is amazing! im currently 14 and have seen the play twice in 6 mounths. I first seen the willy russells - Blood brothers travelling cast of 2008
starring linda nolan in Nottingham earlier in 2008. I was a bit worried that i wasnt going to enjoy it at first. But when there i loved it and couldnt get enough of the songs! In october 2008 i found out that my school were going to see the play for our coursework at the mayflower thearter southampton. Dispite me not studying blood brothers for my gcses me and my friends went along and i really enjoyed the night! When i grow up i have one ambition. Thats to be a actor on Blood Brothers, I am planning on going again next year with the other side of my family. As for Willy Russell all i can say is thank you so much for making such a brilliant play it has really inspired me to go to the thearter more. I highly recommend going to see this werever you are or however long it will take you to get there! Thanks.
Fiona Barnes - Stevenage i am a student and read this book called our day out for are coursework it is a really funny book and i love it. i hope everyone would be able to do this play for their coursework as i would recomend it!!!
Johnson & Robinson - Mansfield Hey willy, We are you absolutely your biggest fans!
We love you book Educating Rita! extreme piece of writing so tense! it made me want to carry on.
I also love your book Our Day out! Mrs.Kay was an amazing character.
But our favorite is BLOOD BROTHERS! micky and eddie the poor sods! being split up at birth and taken away. I feel for them.
I think your books are amazing. But i think you should write a book called sister trouble :) and the two sisters be called Naomi & Natasha, it could be about, Two twin sisters that always get into trouble. and so on. and you could write inspired by two young girls! haha!! sorry we realy adore you.
WE LOVE YOU WILLY!!!!!!!!!
Pauline Raw - Plymouth Started reading the script with KS3and covering associated acrivities thinking we could get the film- wrong. Please try your best to make the BBC re issue the film? Thanks.
Sue Short - Middlesborough I am a school librarian and have been asked by the drama department to obtain the prologue Willy delivered on the South Bank show many years ago starting 'I hate the arts'. I have noticed another query of the same nature from Daniel Reuben - USA - formerly Liverpool. Can you please help? Many thanks
Graham Rothwell - Whiston Seen this film many times over the years and never tire of the profound impact it has had on me as Ive got older. Its only one of a few films that do actually grow on you as you get older. The initial humour I saw in the characters when I was young has now developed into still humour and some sadness at the situations some of the people are in. Should be shown to all kids and let them decide on the impact. Still not available to buy. Bad.
Howard Greenwood - Mobberley I have achieved my ambition of getting a copy of our day out on dvd..........i loved it when it was first shown and now it still draws me to watch it repeatedly 30 years later.
potential for a follow up there.......perhaps "our day reunion"maybe
Sim Parrot - Manchester Hi Willy, Dad has fond memories of Kirby Fields College and meeting you and your wife at her mum's. Small world I then met your daughter in London when I took a school trip to see Joseph. Are you a Change School Practioner? if so can we buy some time from you as I am trying to put together a story and script writing programme for Primary children. Cheers
A School Librarian - Colwyn Bay Another request for a ‘Blood Brothers’ DVD, this time from students at a Colwyn Bay School. Any chance of a DVD being produced in the near future?
Naomi Jones - Rhuddlan
Well I'm Only 14 But We're Are Doing A Performance Of 'Our Day Out' In Our School Soon.
I think that this is such a good film.
Thankyou Willy Russell
Helen Cave - Australia (prev Yorkshire) Ref Dancin Thru the Dark, and comments made in the Liverpool Post in january this year... “I am thinking of taking Dancin’ Thru the Dark to my people, putting a copy together and putting it on my website and giving it away and waiting for them to sue me. Then we might get something done about it.” PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO IT!!! I have loved this film for so long after first getting it on hire from the local video rental place when it first came out on VHS. I would really like to have this film on DVD! It is awesome!!!
Paul and Judy Joe - UK
I just came across your guestbook and read the note from Karen about Dancin thru the Dark. I watched it just the other day on our video that we have of the film. Paul really enjoyed working on it so much. I too think it should be re-released.
Paul Wilkinson- West Wales
In 1972, when I was slightly unwell, and languishing in St Katharine's sick bay, Willy sent me a get well soon card with a poem in it mostly of his own devising.
At the end, it said, "For posterity..when I am famous".
I was just wondering if it is worth anything yet.
It is on nice purple paper...aah, the seventies.
On the subject of which, I think Allan Steven's post lower down this page shows a remarkable command of memory for a man of his age.
Hello to all you Cateysaints.
Evangeline Trout - Cardiff
You dont know me but i love your work. i must say, 'The wrong boy' its a comic masterpiece.
i love willy.
Anna Torpey - Wallasey
Like Willy Russell, my dad was a teacher in Liverpool in the 70s (and 80s and 90s and 00's!) and having watched Our Day Out the other night, I can see exactly why he loves it so much. It is a wonderful piece of social history, and I am absolutely gutted that it's not available on video or DVD! It is compulsory viewing. Thank you very much Willy Russell(Sir!)
Jacqueline Lucas - Wirral
It does not seem like over 30 years since i played Linda Croxley in our day out, but we all had the best time of our lives, and it was a great experience, i wonder what has happened to pedre james the producer and all my other fellow castmates
Kieth Frisby - Brit Ex Pat Philly USA Willy,
Do you think we wil ever see your masterpiece released on DVD?
I would much rather you make some money out of it, as opposed to the pirates on Ebay.
If you dont have any control over this please can you let me know who owns the rights to the dvd , so I can moan at them also.
Regards and thanks,
Name withheld - Ruthin, North Wales
saw 'Our Day Out' again last night, first time I've seen it in ages and I still love it, I never get bored of any of the kid's and adult's performances. Here's to the potential of a dvd
John Parry - Norris Green, Liverpool
hello just watched Our Day Out again after a very long time just wanted to know what beach the kids were on anyone help??
- Isle of Skye, Scotland
I've enjoyed every piece of writing/film that Willy Russel has touched. He has that gift on 'knowing' his characters.
Years ago, I saw 'Our Day Out' and would love to see it again. Is there anywhere that it can be downloaded or purchased?
See the 'News' page for details of BBC's re-screening of Our Day Out, this coming Friday (22nd August).
- Santiago de Chile
Me encanta este autor y deseo saber a que direcciÃ³n puedo dirigir parta comprar la licencia de "SHIRLEY VALENTINE", para poder montarla en Santiago, y poder invitar al Sr. Russell a Santiago, al estreno, en el 2009.
Hi, I've been searching for a dvd of 'Dacin Thru the Dark for ages and I have just managed to get one. It's just as brilliant as I remembered it.
I have never been to the theatre much but the best play i have ever seen was Blood Brothers at the Empire when kiki dee and con o'neill starred in it, talking about con o'neill when are we ever gonna see the dvd release of dancin thru the dark in the uk, cheers Willy.
- Wirral I'm a huge fan of Dancin' Thru The Dark, is there any hope of tracking down the blighters who own that tape so we can have it on dvd? Willy, your plays are a work of genius, they evok all kinds of emotions when watching them, just amazing.
- Thames Ditton My husband has seen Blood Brother's about 12 times since I met him 7 years ago, this is his favourite musical.
He turns 40 next year - if anyone knows how I can make extra special by getting to meet the crew I would be eternally grateful.
- NSW, Australia I think I’m participating in a bit of a Willy Russell Festival at present. From March to May this year I played the part of Rita in ‘Educating Rita’ in Coffs Harbour (NSW, Australia) I loved being Rita for the 6 months it took me to master her. The language of your writing is superb. I loved getting the accent right, it was a treat. The journey I took with Rita was a delight and I can’t wait to do ‘Shirley Valentine’ next year.......when you’re on a roll.......... I was lucky enough to see a performance of ‘Blood Brothers’ a couple of weeks ago .......see what I mean by a Festival. Just keep writing those beautifully wordy scripts........more for older woman now please..........I’m heading for 50.....any suggestions for other roles I might be able to tackle?
Hi there I have just been to see our local production of Blood Brothers it was wonderful after seeing the overseas version many years ago with David Soul as the narrator I have never forgotten it. I wonder if it will ever be made into a DVD format do you know. I would love to get hold of one. Thank you.
I've just finished reading The Wrong Boy and LOVED it. I didn't know Willy had written a novel until I came across it in a charity shop recently. Of course I had to buy it because I've enjoyed the plays so much over the years. As the mum of a teenage son, I really identifed with the characters - it made me smile and laugh and cry (somewhat embarrassing since I read on the bus!) and I didn't want it to end. I heard there's to be a tv or film adaptation - any news on that? Or maybe it's better to leave it as a book - the way the story unfolds through Raymond's letters works perfectly. Thank you.
Wouldn’t it be great if Blood Brothers was recorded on DVD as a stage show to celebrate its 20th year? Is anyone thinking of doing this? I think it should be made even if the release is held back until the show closes in the West End which (sadly) will eventually happen.
- USA - formerly Liverpool
Is there any way to get hold of or view the wonderful South Bank Show special on Willy? Would love to see it again. Any chance of posting it here?
- OH USA
My brother and I are doing Blood Brothers at a summer stock theatre company in ohio and we were wondering what the "living on the gyro" lyric was in reference to? We aren't familiar with the phrase and were hoping you could clue us in. Thanks!
Just been to see blood brothers in the opera house belfast. found it a rollcoaster of emotions. but the social message it sent out was wonderful. how by the luck of the draw determined how the boys lives would develope. working class guy was beat right from the start. i lived in skelmersdale in 1972 ,after moving there when the troubles in ireland started. could relate how liverpudlians where rehoused there. wonderful story willie. thanks and good lck
Audrey Glover - Lancaster
Please can you tell me where I can get a copy of the script/video of "Lies" by Willy Russell
Bronte Mitchelmore - Exeter
Wow, Who knew Willy Russell could achieve all this. im only 13 but i like how much he has made of his life. Me and my class were reading his book "Our Day Out" in English and its a very good book. its a play to so thats even better. Well done Willy keep it up!!!
Sian Morris - Carmarthen, West Wales
I know Blood Brothers isn't available for amateurs - shame but what about John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert? Could I get a licence for my group JUST GOOD FRIENDS to perform this next Easter?
Janet Street - Liverpool
Dear Willy, Absolutely love all your work. I have always wanted to write, and have had a few poems published, one about Liverpool. I am now finally starting to write a short story, but would love professional advice on my ideas so far.
Can I send it to you please, or can you advise me who may be interested in taking a look at it.
Ann Hvaal - Wrexham
Best evening ever at the theatre, an evening with Willy and Tim Firth at the Theatre Clwyd, Mold. Any plans to repeat this performance?
Charlotte Harvey - Canada
Hello-will you, Willy Russell, be releasing a film version of Blood Brothers?
Jacqueline Corrigan - Dublin
Great site, what a find!? When I was 16 and studying for CSE Drama in a school on the Wirral (yes it's quite a while ago!) I wrote to Willy Russell ( as well as Norman Wisdom and John Cleese..I had fairly eclectic tastes in comedy, and nothing much has changed!. They all replied some more personally than others, and Willy sent me a letter inviting me to his house armed with a tape recorder. With much excitement I showed the letter to my teacher who told me not to bother as I'd finished the exam! I have many regrets in life, happlily most of them pretty insignificant, but I really kick myself for missing out on the opportunity of meeting a man who would later become a huge influence on my writing. In my teenage naiveity, I thought grown ups had all the answers!
I'm now a mum of two living in Dublin and in the last couple of years have taken up a bit a scribbling, a radio play that I wrote was shortlisted here in Ireland for the RTE PJ O'Connor Awards, and I have recently been drafting a version for the stage, I would love to send a copy to Willy, I would really appreciate his feedback.
- Queensland, Australia
HI, can anyone help.Am choregaphing blood Bros..need some hlep with the moves..saw it twice 20 yrs ago, loved it ..OF COURSE..but am stucks for moves..is there anything OUT there to help..normaly I would look at a DVD you see
Bridget Bean - Tampa, FL, USA
Hi Willy! I love your work and over the years I have played the roles of both Rita and Shirley. Is there any chance you might write a play in the future with a great part for an actress in her 50's? I'd love to know that in the years to come there'll be another Willy Russell role for me to play.
Matthew Marshall - Liverpool
For our GCSE English in school we recently read Educating Rita, and in the foreword Willy Russell talks about going to a school in Huyton near a council estate in his youth for a short time. We think the way he describes it meets the description of our school. Could you find out if Willy Russell attended our school, which has had the names of Seel Road Modern Comprehensive, Huyton Hey and Knowsley Hey, on Seel Road, Huyton.
I would be grateful If you can find out if this is the school Russell describes or if not, if you can find out the name of the school.
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
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 on 07/01/08 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.