Series 2, Episode 11: Playwright & Author, Willy Russell

In our final episode of this series, Martin McQuillan is joined by legendary playwright, Willy Russell.

Taking a trip down memory lane, Willy recalls the horrors of school as a youngster in comparison to the joy he found in going back to education as an adult where he discovered his passion for writing.

Having spent years as a musician, writing lyrics had become part of Willy’s life but it wasn’t until he went back to night school to study that the world of writing changed everything.

“This lovely man treated us all as equals and adults and I remember in the first couple of weeks, he introduced us to Animal Farm – I’d never heard of George Orwell. I went back the next week and he said to the class, “of course, you do know that this book is an allegory,” and I was learning to be a bit bolder and I said, “sorry, I don’t know what that means”. And he said, “well it’s a story that’s about one thing that is in fact about another. In this case the Russian Revolution right?” Brilliant! I mean, I’d just enjoyed it about pigs and animals, but suddenly understanding completely how it mirrored Orwell’s take on what happened with totalitarianism…of course I became the world’s biggest bore on Orwell.”

​Willy has certainly made a mark in theatre and film, writing Iconic plays such as Blood Brothers, Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine.

As we come to the end of series two, we’d like to thank you for your support and look forward to bringing you more guests of The Lonely Arts Club soon.

Click HERE to download this episode now.

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