Our day out is set in an industrial estate in Liverpool. The novel is based upon Willy Russel’s first hand experience of teaching at Shorefields Comprehensive School where he taught young adults for a year. The play is to my opinion very realistic, due to the fact that Willy Russel had the experience in life of teaching in a more chilled and relaxing sort of manner. Therefore this revolves around “Mrs Kay”, (character in the story) who is very alike Willy Russel and not to mention, I will explain the character “Mrs Kay” later on throughout the duration of this essay.
The play is set in a low standard Liverpool where people have no fame or form of life. Not to forget that the play is set many years ago so subsequently not many new technology was around, and to be taught education was a difficult prospect. In the past when the story was written, Liverpool not at its best was a city in many areas degraded, obnoxious and sight seeing was very unattractive. Seemingly that’s the reason I suppose the author Willy Russel chose an abnormal country so that the pupils at (school name) could have something to explore the real world outside.
From reading about Willy Russel’s biography of life so far, I think Wales or any other country besides England is a luminous trip for the pupils to go to. This is because the pupils can look at the outside world and experience such a more contented and rich environment. This will encourage and motivate the pupils to get educated to its full content and then on to achieving their goals. Almost forgotten, the play is about a progress class going on a so-called “exciting” trip to Wales.
Briefly describing, the progress class is a group of unsuccessful pupils who have led astray in the process of being educated by classified teachers. Meaningful students who have underachieved or who have lost track and fallen behind on their every school day life-learning opportunities given. To make matters worse some pupils are on the brink of turning juvenile. After reading the novel, there are 2 main characters that in the play are really extraordinary.
Mrs Kay the teacher of the progress class and Mr Briggs who is the Deputy headmaster, are both present at accompanying the pupils on the Wales trip, not to mention, both characters have different opinions of the un-modest pupils. On the one hand Mrs Kay knows that the pupils are unfortunate in school as this reflects their social life, their surroundings and the environment they live in. Although the pupils will have difficulty in life on finding jobs and may well encounter other problems, Mrs Kay is still there to support the pupils and in her mental mind, she believes in them.
On the other hand Mr Briggs is totally the opposite of Mrs Kay. He has already given up on the pupils as he knows not much can be done to grade the pupils to unimaginably being a great honour as their learning skills have improved. This therefore has a massive effect on Mr Briggs as he turns the trip upside down and instead of the trip being all-enjoyable and to its full extent being a fun day out, he tries to make it more educational. By experiencing the behaviour of Mrs Kay with the pupils Mr Briggs is very appalled with Mrs Kay’s attitude and the handling of the pupils.
Describing Mr Briggs in more detail, he has a total different style of teaching to Mrs Kay. Upon looking at Mr Briggs, one will see him as a strict, old-fashioned brand of teacher and simply believes in discipline and to have no sense of humour whilst teaching. The comparison between both characters is explained thoroughly by Willy Russel to bring out both aspects of their human life. The art of speaking in the whole novel from the pupils to the teachers create a conclusion to the misery minds of the audience, using slang and dialect words, which would be matched by the local accent.
Therefore the audience’s experiment of knowing which character was born in which habitat is revealed easily as the teachers were the invites to the city and the pupils were the locals born. After reading the novel “our day out”, my judgement reveals that Mr Briggs in some form of manner assumes the pupils are similar to microorganisms. Remorsefully, the characters born in the heart of Liverpool have a different accent to many individuals around the mutual country, causing many distractions such as considering the words spoken when watching the play on the BBC channel.
Although it may seem like an unwanted heard speech to many allies of myself, it is very exciting to hear the slang language spoken and the accent can be very funny at times, depending on which word has been said. Well, moving on from the introduction of the novel and the characters itself, I will now briefly explain the main events that had occurred throughout the novel. Basically, A teacher has organised a trip for her progress class pupils to go to Wales and enjoy themselves and have fun out in the open but at the last minute set off, the deputy headmaster has joined in to accompany his employee.
The pupils are taken to a zoo where they get to affiliate with many animals, misread, the pupils eventually get back on the coach taking their stolen pets with them. The pupils and the teacher of the progress class have a great time on the beach whilst one of the fellow students goes missing. The deputy headmaster finds the pupil and they have a little conflict which the pupil wants to stay in Wales. Arriving home, there were no sufficient changes to the deputy headmaster. To the audience, comedy is the vital word used to describe the very dramatic beach scene.
I say “dramatic” because lots of communication of annoyance occurs between the characters and one active teacher Mrs Kay, for example, on page lines . Starting with character Kevin, he tries to get Mrs Kay’s attention as he slowly moves away from the sandy beach, which Mrs Kay reacts to, and starts chasing him in the sea. Not to mention, Kevin has also got on Mrs Kay’s nerves by repeatedly calling her. Due to the fact that this little event continues, Mr Briggs is sitting on rock metres apart from the rest of the very humorous act.
My opinion is the chasing in the sea act would be very amusing to any audience because everyone is having fun including both teacher and a pupil, who encounters teenagers and over 30, aged people having fun together. Willy Russell has used his imagination a lot for the beach scene. I can say this because if Willy Russell had two pupils chasing one another, the audience wouldn’t have been that interested due to immaturity inside teenagers on this planet.
At this point of the novel, the atmosphere around the audience is totally changed, as everyone is in a joyful mind except for the character Mr Briggs, as he’s so not seemingly interested in what’s going on with his students and his ally Mrs Kay. Willy Russell wants everyone related to the story to know how much hatred there is from the deputy headmaster towards the pupils as he puts Mr Briggs out of the picture where he sits on a rock on his own.
Moving on and totally the opposite of Mr Briggs, Mrs Kay is more to be like a babysitter as she plays round with Kevin and then reluctantly wraps a towel round him to keep him in a good condition. The cliff scene is the most emotional scene to be recognised in the novel due to the fact that one of the characters (pupil) could have been easily killed as the pupil slips on the edge of the rock and nearly heads for the sea. It is very exciting and at the same time, very devastating to watch the deputy headmaster (Mr Briggs) have his hand raised out for the pupil (Carol) to communicate with.
Opinion wise, I think lots of tension rises at this point because the scene is very dramatic and more like an action movie, as there is a life and death situation around the bounds of the character Carol. Describing the whole cliff scene, Mr Briggs went looking for Carol, whilst finding her, terror and horror was rushing past the mind of Mr Briggs’s as he tried talking life with Carol such as looking forward in the future and how her career could be extended. But, my point of view is that Carol tried to start a conflict with the deputy headmaster but his instinct was very formal and he changed his attitude towards the self-sobbed person.
From this point on, the audience realise that there is some change towards Mr Briggs because on page 49 and line 17 he says, “We’d have to. How would you survive out here? ” Subsequently the audience know for a fact that he has to be all kind and more autonomy towards Carol and they also know he changes his attitude completely and leaves his hard emotional effects to a side just to reveal the joyful side of Mr Briggs. That evidence on the sweeter side of Mr Briggs is on page 49 and lines 27 & 28.