Each time Willy Russell spoke, whether to make a joke or in reference to one of his plays, the couple in front of us would nod religiously. After a while, we nodded in perfect time.
Nodding at the discovery that Blood Brothers had been toured in Japan, Australia and the UK. Nodding at the idea that “playwrights need to make mistakes” when they’re writing in order to grow.
Willy taught us that scriptwriting is a collaborative process between scriptwriter, company and audience. You need the imagination of the audience, to capture it and roll with it.
What was impressive was the different jobs that he had before he did scriptwriting, from hairdressing to teaching, showing that anything can happen if you keep going.
Throughout the question and answer session, the message from Willy was clear. Theatre and playwriting is important and that the only obligation a scriptwriter has is “not to bore”.
Willy, I agree with you.