Characters, Themes, and Dramatic Techniques in Our Day Out by Willy Russell

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Characters, Themes, and Dramatic Techniques in Our Day Out by Willy Russell

`Our Day Out` was written by Willy Russell to show people life in the

inner city of Liverpool. There are a lot of scenes which create

tension, excitement and disappointment in Our Day Out. One humorous

part is Les the lollipop man, just after Carol has explained what the

purpose of the progress class is, he replies "By Christ, I bet she's

kept busy, they're all bloody backward around here". The use of slang

"I'll keep dixie" and swearing "right, dickheads move" create a

realistic impression of the characters. Accents are also used in Our

Day Out, mainly by Carol who has a distinguishable accent… "Agh,ey

Les…". Using slang, swearing and accents creates a personal image in

the viewer's mind which will help them to understand the play better.

The play contains realistic characters, such as Briggs and Mrs Kay.

Briggs sets a strict example of a teacher, while Mrs Kay is a

completely different individual. Briggs shouts at the children, and

has no empathy for them… "Stop!Slater,walk…walk!…" This shows how

Briggs wants to retain control by issuing orders. Mrs Kay however, is

very laid back and relaxed and lets the children run amok while she

has coffee. There is a considerable difference between the

personalities of Mrs Kay and Briggs. Russell creates personality

changes in certain characters further on in the play, as we shall see

later. The author is skilful in making the audience alter their

opinions. For example, in the scene where Mrs Kay tells of the

deprivation of sweets and lemonade, we feel sorry for the children.

However we are equally appalled a...

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... the scenes, maintains the readers interest

throughout the play. The emotions brought out by the various scenes,

range from pity to shock and disappointment .

I enjoyed the play and found the humorous scenes very entertaining.

The cliff-top scene was tense and therefore exciting. When Briggs

destroyed the roll of film I was disappointed. Russell gave the

impression that Briggs was a changed man. I think he saw the

photographs as evidence of the kind of person he could be, if he chose

to be. I also think he didn't want to be reminded that he had enjoyed

the day out, and by destroying the film, he changed back to his usual

self. This also came across to the viewer, when he straightened his

tie on arriving back in the city. He had only changed for the duration

of the day out, and in fact he hadn't really changed at all.
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