During the 2000's...
Willy Russell published his first novel, The Wrong Boy, to critical acclaim. The book has been translated into fifteen languages. He also wrote and recorded a first album of compositions, Hoovering The Moon, toured with fellow playwright Tim Firth and a six piece band, performing a outstandingly funny blend of humour, song and verse under the title of In Other Words and completed a residency at the Edinburgh Festival. Willy, working alongside Sir Alan Parker, also completed a screenplay for the hugely successful musical Blood Brothers.
A first novel from Willy Russell. A major success and translated into fifteen languages. "Full of memorable characters and with an utterly engrossing plot, The Wrong Boy is one of the funniest and most moving novels."
WILLY RUSSELL & FRIENDS
Willy is joined onstage at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool by Sir Paul McCartney and Adrian Mitchell. Sir Paul read extracts from his book of original poems 'Blackbird Singing'. Willy's performances are highly regarded events and his reading of Shirley Valentine has entered folk history in Liverpool.
HOOVERING THE MOON
Willy Russell's songwriting prowess and musicianship comes out of the shadows and into the limelight with this new album. The album has been co-produced by Willy and Andy Roberts and contains 14 self-penned tracks with contributions from some of Willy Russell friends and collaborators, including Kate Rusby, Barbara Dickson and Tim Firth.
FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY
Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell shared the Liverpool Playhouse stage for an evening of comedy, readings and song. A full house enjoyed the banter between the two Liverpool writers. The evening was in support of the local HIV charity Sahir House.
HOOVERING THE MOON
Willy Russell's HOOVERING THE MOON album goes on general release and is available in shops across the country. A single featuring 'China' & 'Any Father' is also produced.
IN OTHER WORDS
A blend of music, songs, verse, readings and anecdotes, all woven together and performed by Willy and Tim Firth appearing as soloists, as a duo or as part of a six piece band, led by musical director, Andy Roberts.
THE W. R. FOUNDATION AWARD
Willy Russell in collaboration with Tim Firth sets up the W.R. Foundation Award to stage new writing at the 2005 Edinburgh Festival.
THE SINGING PLAYWRIGHTS
The musical show, created and polished by Willy and Tim Firth, moves on to Edinburgh for a twelve date season as part of the internationally famous Edinburgh Festival - the world’s largest arts festival.
LIVE IN LIVERPOOL
Willy Russell and the SINGING PLAYWRIGHTS band appeared live on Mike Hardings Radio 2 show alongside Janis Ian and Ralph McTell.
LIPA COMPANION OF HONOUR
In recognition of his work with students and his ongoing relationship with Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts Willy Russell receives Companionship presented by "Mr" Sir Paul McCartney.
BLOOD BROTHERS - the movie?
Willy Russell spent several months working with Alan Parker to produce a screenplay for BLOOD BROTHERS - the movie. Willy said: "I've finished the script and along with Alan Parker I'm extremely happy with the result".
STAGS & HENS - Remix
Willy Russell reworks and updates the script for a month long production at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool during Capital of Culture 08.
IN OTHER WORDS
Willy Russell contributes to the Liverpool University Public Lecture Series as part of Capital of Culture 08. His appearance, initially planned for one reading, is moved to the larger venue of the Philharmonic Hall and spread over two evenings due to unprecedented ticket demand.
A new production of SHIRLEY VALENTINE, directed by Glen Walford (who directed the very first production in 1986) opens at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool. Pauline Daniels takes the role of Shirley and pulls in five star reviews.
OUR DAY OUT - THE MUSICAL
A new musical version premiered in September at Liverpool's Royal Court Theatre. Originally written for television in 1976, Willy has always considered Our Day Out unfinished business and together with director Bob Eaton have created a new, improved, all singing, all dancing Our Day Out - their third collaboration on the seminal school tale in 25 years.