Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Ingenuity and generosity

Willy Russell after his talk with
Shannon Webb
Courtesy of Jack Wilkins
Willy Russell knows.There's a stereotype that  those who grow up in lower socio-economic circumstances don't do well in life. But this young council estate lad grew up to be a renowned playwright and composer. of past and present? Stereotypically, those who grow up on lower socially economic backgrounds do not tend to do as well in life. But Willy's working-class Lancashire background aided his exploration and creation of his award-winning plays and novels.

Willy discussed the way his love for reading and writing at school made him look like an alien to the rest of his peers. He spoke about his mother's story telling and his father's dislike of the upper classes. Willy's life experiences impacted showed us that he is a real person, and someone a person like me (from a working class background) can relate to. The audience was in awe.

Through his varied career path - as  factory worker, hairdresser, teacher, songwriter, actor, playwright, composer - Willy always thought about writing. He described how 'shit' he was at cutting hair, yet he was a perfect listener for his customers- something many of us need when having a fresh new trim. Through his varied career paths he said he had always thought about writing.

Obviously I could go on all day about how wonderful Willy was during his talk and interview, but unfortunately I have a word limit. So I will just end by summing up the man I met in these words: Willy Russell, a man of ingenuity and generosity.

Shannon Webb

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