Willy Russel is the writer of “Our Day Out” and was born on the twenty third of August , nineteen thirty seven . Russel attended woolfall secondary school , which he later described as a “badly run school ” . Russel left Woolfall at the tender age of fifteen , with no formal qualifications .Life in Liverpool in the 70’s was surreal because of the lack of unemployment , and the high level of crime . Poverty Struck the heart of Liverpool . One of the Girls that “Mrs Kay” taught , carol , only had one item of clothing for the week , this is why I called 70’s Liverpool surreal . Another reason for the kids bad behaviour was because most of the kids parents had divorced , and this lead to bad behaviour out side the home .
Willy Russel found his path to become a teacher , when he went to do an A-Level course at ST Katherine’s collage . Since those days in the drugged up 70’s collage , Russel has produced Music and poetry and even a novel , but when this failed , he discovered playwriting .I find the main deference’s between the characters of Mrs Kay and Mr Briggs are there feelings towards the children that they teach .
Mrs Kay has a comfortable relationship with the children . This is evident in the way she talks to Mr Briggs about the children “ohh.. leave them ..
.they’ll want to stretch their legs, let off a bit of steam “.This shows she is thinking about them and want them to be comfortable .
Mrs kay is also concerned for the children’s safety , this can be seen where she is “(shouting at a kid) Maurice ! come away from that road will you “.Mr Briggs likes to keep his distance from the children and he also likes to keep the children at bay. We can see an example of this when Mr Briggs says to Mrs kay” well I don’t know if these children can be trusted ” Here he talks about them as if Mr Briggs does not like the children to have any freedom . Mr Briggs also talks down the organise of the trip to Mrs Kay “It’s a shamble , the whole ill-organised affair “This is also Mr Brigg’s way of showing how he disagrees with Mrs kay style of teaching .
Mrs Kay and Mr Briggs have different views on what education should be like and how close the teachers should get to the students .Mrs kay does not mind getting close up with the students . Mr Briggs on the way to Wales , sees Mrs Kay cuddling Carol , when he sees this he goes up to Andrews , sets next to him and makes a personal conversation with him. This also shows he is complying with Mrs Kays student approach and also that he wants to get close to students but he’s afraid , I feel this matter occurs in his personal life.
Mr Briggs finds Mrs Kay as a threat , Which we can see at many occasions .Willy Russel based his story on the hardship of the Liverpodian life. The setting of “Our day out” is set in the heart of Liverpool , where unemployment was high and children where selling and smoking drugs. The kids where always getting in trouble either in the school or on the street , My opinion is that Russel based his story on this .The Teachers thought of their selves as different to the kids , a higher class if you will ,we know this from use of language , i.
e. teachers do not use slang and yet the kids do . Mrs Kay and Mr Briggs do have slight accents but not liverpodian but more Yorkshire accents,Education since the 70’s has changed dramatically in my view . I fell that since the 70’s Education is stricter . For example Mrs Kay says “All children that haven’t paid but has got permission please come over here ” but in present times we have to pay and get permission .
Education has also with feelings between Students and Teachers. Then we see Mrs Kay touching carol , but now if a Teacher does that then he/she would get suspended or even sued .Russel used the stage direction very will . His setting was in Liverpool which went well with the story because of the poverty factor .Russel used the stage direction to bring out the personality of the characters . I think when the characters where on the coach , they “came out of the closet “, for example , when Mr Briggs was talking to Andrews , it was his first time interacting with a student .
Also Mr Briggs brang out his true feeling about the kids to Mrs Kay .I very much enjoyed the play/story . It showed what life was like ,not only in liverpodian 70’s but of all the country . It showed how fortunate we are to have an education system like we do present .
Others will view this book on what types of books they like and what the think of the education system . I think most people would enjoy this story . Inclosing I think that this is an insight into 70’s life.