‘Our Day Out’ – from the director’s programme notes
Willy Russell, creator of ‘Educating Rita’ and ‘Shirley Valentine’, wrote ‘Our Day Out’ for television in 1976 as a BBC Play for Today and adapted it with music for the stage in 1983.
This hilarious romp is about a class of underprivileged schoolchildren who are let off the leash for a day trip with their kindly but ineffectual teacher. Chaos ensues, and it is up to the strict and bullying Mr. Briggs to try to restore order.
Although a comedy at heart, the play also provides commentary on the bleak and hopeless lives of these comprehensive school pupils who stand no chance of a happy or successful future. Unsurprisingly, the script is dated, but the social commentary still rings true today.
Originally set in Liverpool, Willy Russell generously allows groups to change the setting and dialect to suit, so in our case, bring it ‘dan saaff’. We have, with the help of our seventeen young cast members, also been able to bring some of the vocabulary a little more up to date. Some of us have learnt quite a lot!
The youngsters have brought energy and enthusiasm to rehearsals as well as considerable talent, and we are sure this will be reflected in the performances; we adults have fastened our seat belts and tried our best to keep up.
It’s been an exciting ride!
Check out the review by Oxford Drama Network – here