Our Day Out (musical)
Front cover of the 1993 version of Our Day Out from Heinemann Plays series 1993
|Cover artist||Clare Webber|
Origins and development
The musical was developed from the 1977 BBC television play "Our Day Out" by Willy Russell. The original television version was developed into a musical for the stage with songs by Willy Russell, Chris Mellor, and Bob Eaton. This production, directed by Bob Eaton, was first performed at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool in 1983.
In 2009, Willy rewrote the musical and updated to a more modern feeling. It premièred in the Royal Court Liverpool.
The latest performance of the updated version, was performed outside Liverpool at the Key Theatre in Peterborough on the 15–18 August 2012.
The musical is about students from an inner-city school in Liverpool who go on a trip to Conwy Castle in Wales. Mrs Kay teaches a class of illiterate pupils, called the "Progress Class". At the very last minute, the disciplinarian Deputy Headteacher, Mr Briggs, also joins.
The story is about Liverpool children in a Progress Class going on a school trip to Conwy Castle in Wales but they are very misbehaving students. On the journey, they make some stops: at a petrol station they steal sweets, at the zoo they steal most of the animals and a student gets lost at the beach.
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The major themes in Our Day Out are the lack of education, lack of opportunity and deprivation in inner city Liverpool equaling unemployment and no money for education because of this. Willy Russell makes this point very clear to the audience by using characters that, the lack of pretty much everything in Liverpool except the crime and filth is really effecting e.g. Carol- her lack of education is very obviously troubling her as she would like to get a good job however is not bright enough to do so because of the lack of education.
Teachers and Staff
- Mrs Helen Kay: Teacher of the Progress Class.
- Susan: Helps Mrs Kay look after the children.
- Colin: Another helper of Mrs Kay; he is teased by Reilly & Digga because he is dating Susan.
- Mr John Briggs: Deputy Headmaster; he is very strict and tries to discipline the children.
- The Headmaster: Sends Mr Briggs to supervise the children.
- Ronny Suttcliffe: Driver of the coach who gets tricked by Mrs Kay to teach him a lesson about not to be stingy with the kids background.
- Carol: First and last character seen in the play.
- Reilly: Class bully.
- Digga: Reilly's 'assistant'.
- Linda: Has a crush on Colin.
- Karen: Linda's friend; has a crush on Colin.
- Andrews: Andrews is addicted to smoking and does not have a very good life at home. His parents too, especially his dad, are addicted to smoking.
- Ronson: A minor character in the play. He is seen in a conversation at the zoo with Mr. Briggs and Andrews
- Kevin: Another minor character, he is seen in an encounter with Mrs. Kay on the beach. Twelve years old.
- Jimmy: A student from the Progress Class.
- Maurice: The kid who brings the sweets to the coach.
- Mrs Roberts: Foresees what might happen to her if she lets the children into her café and forbids them from entering.
- Waitress: Works in Mrs Roberts's café.
- John: Shop owner who gets robbed by the kids.
- Mac: Shop owner who gets robbed by the kids.
- Les: The lollipop man.
- The Animal Keeper: He is seen when he shouts at the kids for stealing animals from the zoo.
- We're Goin' Out - Carol and kids
- Mrs Kay's Progress Class - Kids
- Got A Packed Lunch - Kids
- Boss Of The Bus - Ronny and Kids
- Instructions On Enjoyment - Mr Briggs
- We're Off - Kids
- Look At The Dogs/Our day out (The travelling song) - Company
- The Mersey Tunnal - Kids
- It's Borin', Bleeding Borin' - Bored Girls
- Straight Line - Mr Briggs and Mrs Kay
- Penny Chews - Kids
- I'm In Love With Sir - Linda, Karen and Kids
- Zoo Song - Bored girls and Kids
- Our Day Out - Kids
- Castle Song - Mr Briggs, Kids, Linda, Karen and Colin
- Beach Song (short) - Bored girls and Kids
- I Know You Like Her - Susan
- Why Can't It Always Be This Way (Carol's Song) - Carol
- Fairground Song - Kids
- Everywhere We Go - Kids
- Ay Ay Yippee Yippee Ay - Kids
- We Had A Really Great Day Out - Company
- Finale: No One Can Take This Time Away - Company
These plays are still being played in London, There is a considerate core in Russell's work that can best be seen in his charming and sympathetic presentation of life's losers, all of whom have an epic sense of their own importance.
- Russell, Willy (1993). Our Day Out. United Kingdom: Heinemann Educational Publishers. pp. ix. ISBN 0-435-23301-7.