During the 1990's...
Willy Russell was encouraged to perform his own musical material during Words On The Run, developed Stags & Hens for the big screen (which became Dancin' Thru The Dark), was honoured several times by local universities, adapted Our Day Out for the stage and Blood Brothers opened on Broadway scooping up hallf a dozen Tony nominations.
DANCIN' THRU THE DARK
Adapted from the stage play 'Stags and Hens'. A BBC & Formost Films Production, directed by Mike Ockrent, produced by Annie Russell and Andree Molyneux. The film starred Claire Hackett, Con O'Neill, Simon O'Brien, Angela Clarke, Julia Deakin, Mark Womack, Louise Duprey, Colin Welland, Conrad Nelson, Andrew Naylor, Peter Watts and Sandy Hendrickse. As well as writing the screenplay and composing music for the film, Willy Russell appears in a cameo acting role. RECENTLY added Newsletter from Willy Russell on the release of the DVD...
Liverpool University honours Willy Russell by making him a Doctor of Literature.
THE SOUTH BANK SHOW
In 1992 London Weekend Television produced a SOUTH BANK SHOW special on Willy and his career. The programme opened with Willy reciting his, now famous, I Hate The Arts poem.
Willy Russell writes new libretto and takes the role of Narrator in new version of Stravinsky's SOLDIER'S TALE.
Opens at the Liverpool Playhouse.
Opens at the Music Box Theatre in New York. Initially savaged by the US critics, the show nevertheless survived and eventually triumphed, going on to run for more than two years and garnering six Tony nominations.
A film for the BBC, screenplay and music by Willy Russell, directed by Rob Rohrer receives the first of its many showings on television.
JOHN MOORES UNIVERSITY
Willy Russell is made a Fellow of John Moores University.
WORDS ON THE RUN
With poets Adrian Henri, Brian Patten, Roger McGough and musician Andy Roberts, Willy puts together WORDS ON THE RUN, a unique evening of prose, poetry, song and music which toured Britain throughout the autumn of that year. When the show toured again in 1997 an 'official' bootleg tape of the show, called The Wellingborough Bootleg was produced.
WORDS ON THE RUN
Played at festivals throughout the year - Hay On Wye, Birmingham Writers Festival, Edinburgh Festival etc.
OUR DAY OUT
Stage version at Belgrade Theatre Coventry. "With Bob Eaton (one of the original co-composers ) and Glen Walford (director) I overhauled the whole show, restructuring, writing new songs, introducing new elements to the text; ever since the hastily put together first production I'd wanted to devote time to making Our Day Out into the really big musical that I thought it deserved to be. We got a long way towards achieving that in Coventry, helped in no small way by a great cast of young actors from the Coventry area. We didn't, though, fully get there and, along with Bob and Glen I'm still hoping that we can mount one more production, the one that will, in terms of musical theatre, take Our Day Out all the way.
Is broadcast by BBC Schools Television.
Throughout the second part of the 1990's Willy Russell began work on two novels, one of which would later become 'The Wrong Boy'.