In Liverpool the back streets were covered in kids doing nothing and also adults as the Docks were closing down which led to high unemployment. Also the factories, where the unemployed would go closed down as well, so at the time in the play the amount of people unemployed and on benefit was high and the benefit wouldn’t be able to support all of them. The kids are in a progress class which means that they don’t really get taught a lot. They aren’t clever; they are rejects! In the play we learn about the language of the characters, what they say, do, and what they say about other characters.
We find in the play a lot of everyday conversations and from this there are different languages, formal, which is not used regularly and non-formal which is used a lot. It is mainly slang as the kids come from an area of uneducated parents, for example ‘wanna’ and ‘nottin’, these are common words in the play and many more are used. With the play having everyday conversations it makes the play sound more realistic. And people watching will understand it. Willy Russell puts his thoughts in most of the character’s mouths and this is how he gets across to the audience.
In the play a lot of humour is used to keep people interested in the storyline as at the end it really hits you. If the play had no humour no-one would get attracted to it and the message that Willy Russell is sending wouldn’t get across about kids not getting any education and having nothing to look forward to. Willy Russell makes the play natural by putting everyday words and sayings into their mouths like ‘Agh`ey’ and ‘There’s nott’n comin’. In the play poor education is easily recognisable but especially with Carol as she’s one of the younger and maybe poorer group.Carol starts off the play as she is running to school not to miss the trip. Willy describes her in the book as a girl; ‘Wearing a school uniform which doubles as a street outfit and her Sunday best. She is eating half a sandwich and clutching a supermarket carrier bag. ‘ There are many ways that you can tell that Carol isn’t well educated, including a part when Carol asked Mrs.
Kay if you had to get on a boat to Wales, she didn’t know where Wales was and she called the sea a lake.This is obvious as children aged 8 would know where Wales is and may know how to get there. Carol’s language is poor as she says ‘thingy’ and other sayings. From this evidence we come to a conclusion that she hasn’t really had many chances, or a good education. Andrews is also poorly educated and has a bad background. From the book we get a lot of information about his family.
Andrews’ Mum and Dad are divorced and his Dad only goes home for money and rows, this in itself will mentally hurt him.His Mum is a prostitute, we get this information when Reilly and Digga are having a cigarette and Andrews asks for one, they told him that he had to buy one, Andrews said he had no money, but Digga says that his Mum is always around the black men at the Docks and their loaded, Andrews offers them a jam sandwich instead, jam is a very cheap filling, this shows that he is poor and his home life is awful. Reilly is the next person to look at. From the book I gathered that he is a cheeky lad who likes to annoy people a lot.Reilly isn’t in the progress class but him and Digga used to be. Reilly’s father works at the docks but he doesn’t know what as, we get our information from Mr. Briggs admiring the buildings of the docks and telling Reilly and Digga to look. When Mr.
Briggs asks Reilly if it was his cigarette Reilly swears on his Mum’s life, but Digga told Mr. Briggs that he cant swear on his Mum’s life because she’s been dead for ten years. Reilly also likes winding Colin up about him and Susan. In the play there is a conflict between Mrs.
Kay and Mr. Briggs. Mrs.Kay thinks the trip is for a good day out and Mr. Briggs thinks it is for an educational day out. The highlight of the play is where Mrs. Kay and Mr. Briggs have an argument about the children’s behaviour, on page 57.
From the argument Mrs. Kay says some good points and I think that she is a mouthpiece for Willy Russell for his own thoughts and opinions, so the audience thinks about what is being said. Before the argument Mrs. Kay was having a sensible conversation with Andrews. Andrews was saying that if the kids owned the things in their area they wouldn’t get destroyed.
As this is a serious conversation maybe he is another mouthpiece for Willy Russell. In the play at this point there is a dramatic contrast as there is a quiet conversation with Andrews and then a loud scene, the argument between Mrs. Kay and Mr. Briggs. People reading or watching the play are on the kid’s side as Willy persuades us that they aren’t that bad. Another way Willy Russell makes us see things are by detailed directions.
Willy Russell is very clear to get the audience to see what he wants them to see, like the contrast between Liverpool and Wales.When he describes what Carol is wearing that is making us see what her life is like. Also what she was eating, she was eating her sandwiches before she even got to school.
Willy makes us understand that even if they haven’t got something it doesn’t mean that they can’t care for it. This is where Carol and Ronson are at the Zoo and they are loving and holding the animals close. They don’t have anything like rabbits and mice at home and this doesn’t mean that they can’t look after them. This evidence is on page 48-49.
A T.V play is a visual medium and that is what ‘Our Day Out’ is. Willy Russell uses the bear trapped in a cage as a metaphor for the kids and comparisons are also used. On page 46 and 47 the kids are at the Zoo and Ronson makes an insightful comment about the bear being trapped and that it is a soft animal. Mr. Briggs tells him that it will kill if it gets out, and Ronson replies with, “it only wants to kill because it has been trapped for so long”.
You wouldn’t expect him to come out with this comment, but from this many points are made.One of the points made is that if it comes out and kills it isn’t it’s fault as it doesn’t know any better, this refers to the kids stealing for example as they don’t know any better. Also when the bear kills it is because it has wanted to get out to get to better things, the kids want things that they cant have so they steal it. The whole point about Ronson is that he isn’t stupid, but if he had been in the right circumstances he would be quite clever now but like Carol he has had a lack of opportunity. Ronson is also a mouthpiece for Willy Russell.
Leading to the final part of the play there is a dramatic climax. This is Carol and Mr. Briggs on the cliff top at the beach in Wales. When Carol is on the edge of the cliff she moves closer as Mr. Briggs gets closer, this builds tension. Carol does the unexpected and ignores Mr. Briggs.
She swore at him and it is totally the opposite to what she was like earlier in the play. Mr. Briggs gets really angry but in the situation he could do nothing. This part in the play sees a change in Mr. Briggs and it has made him soft. Carol told him that she knows that he hates all the kids and this changed him.Mr.
Briggs grabs her as she slips off the edge and hugs her. He also smiles which he never does. Mr. Briggs also takes them to the fair, which is unexpected judging by the way he acts during the rest of the play. This deliberately leads us to believe that Mr. Briggs is going to change and that the day was a success.
He shows the opposite of what we think. At the end of the play we realise that he hasn’t changed at all as he took the film off Mrs. Kay and told her he was going to develop it and when she left he revealed it to light, screwed it up and put it in his pocket.It is a very realistic ending as you can’t change a person in one day. It also shows that Mr. Briggs has a good side but doesn’t like to show it.
The conclusion of the play is that there are no easy answers or easy ways out. There are still a lot of people today who are exactly the same. The effect it will have, maybe none.
Everybody will be watching and the only real effect maybe sympathy. People may watch it and feel sympathy or other people will watch it and think of it as just another film! And maybe some will see themselves and their lives!