Tag Archives: Willy Russell

The Man Who Educated Rita

Playwright Profile – Willy Russell – Educating Rita

Willy Russell’s career spans more than four decades; born in Liverpool in 1947, he left school at 15, became a women’s hairdresser, part-time singer/songwriter before returning to education and becoming a teacher. Two of Willy’s best-known plays have female protagonists, Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine. Both became successful films – Julie Walters and Pauline Collins who played the roles on stage received Oscar nominations as did Willy for the screenplay of Educating Rita.

His musical Blood Brothers played for 24 years becoming the 3rd longest running West End musical. Major foreign productions include a 2 year run on Broadway.

Willy continues to be one of the most celebrated and widely produced writers of his generation with works regularly being produced throughout the world.

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