Willy Russell

(b. 1947)

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(1947– ),

playwright, novelist, lyricist, and composer, born in Whiston, near Liverpool. His playwriting took off when John, Paul, George, Ringo … and Bert (1974) transferred to the West End. Blood Brothers (1983), a musical about twins separated at birth and brought up in different social environments, found lasting success in its second production, running in the West End since 1988. His best‐known, heart‐warming plays (for which he also wrote award‐winning screenplays) are Educating Rita (1981), about a hairdresser undertaking an Open University course in English Literature, and Shirley Valentine (1988), about a housewife discovering a new life on holiday in Greece. Other plays include One for the Road (1980), Our Day Out (television play, 1977; stage musical, 1983), and Stags and Hens (1986). His first novel, The Wrong Boy (2000), takes the form of letters from a troubled teenager to singer Morrissey.

Subjects: Music — Literature.

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