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Willy Russell’s Our Day Out; How Mrs. Kay And Mr. Brigg’s Have Different Attitudes Towards Students

The Headmaster says at the beginning of “Our day Out” that Mrs. Kay thinks education is “one long game” and Mr. Briggs goes with her “to keep some sort of order”. Write about the difference between Mrs. Kay and Mr. Briggs’s attitudes towards the students. Then choose one scene where we see them with the students and explain in detail how you would tell the actors to play these two parts.”

Our Day Out” is a 20th century drama play. It is written by Willie Russell and is based around a school trip from Inner city Liverpool to Conway Castle, Wales. The general plot is how a teacher, Mr Briggs’, attitude towards the pupils changes. It is about his conversations with Mrs Kay, as both frequently disagree with each other and always believe they speak for the great majority.

Mrs Kay is an open-minded, tolerant and kind hearted teacher, who is affectionate for the children as people. She understands that a lot of the children come from a deprived background and makes allowances for this, she genuinely cares for the children; She tells Maurice “to come away from that road”, when they are waiting for the bus, because she is truly concerned for his safety, not because she enjoys ordering her class around.

Mrs Kay does not believe in traditional teaching methods of discipline and high standards, she is lost to understand the unfairness of a society which puts these children to the back of the queue. She wants the children to least have a good day out, even if they are not going to resolve the struggle of the unequal chance and social injustice.

For many of the children she has perhaps taken on a motherly role, she hold their hands, put her arm round them and cuddles them, which they may not get at home, she possibly feels they need more love and care then education. She also stands by what she believes in and defends her pupils against difficult attitudes based on discrimination.

However, Mr Briggs is completely the opposite to Mrs Kay, he is strict and intolerant to bad behaviour, he believes in the “old school” way of teaching with systematic views of discipline, standards and uniform, whatever the ability or background of the pupils in the progress class. When Carol is on the top of the cliff we can see that Mr Briggs does not know what it is like to be Carol and children like her in that situation. He is taken aback at the fact that Carol talks back at him which he is not use to by the less able children.

After the incident with Carol Mr Briggs changes, he sees the world from her perspective. He becomes more relaxed, insists on a visit to the fair and lets the children treat him like they do Mrs Kay. Still this change does not stay that way, as the coach nears Liverpool, reality returns, and Mr Briggs purposely exposes the film which is a record of his changed relationship with the Progress Class. I have chosen the scene on the beach when Mrs Kay is on her own with the children, she is playing with a group of kids in the sea, who are laughing and screaming, Kevin asks if he can go swimming and Mrs Kay says no and starts chasing after him, catches him and tips him upside down in the sea. I would tell the actress who is taking the part of Mrs Kay to act a motherly part, very playful, jokingly and loving towards Kevin, as if it was their own child they were playing with.

For a scene with Mr Briggs I have chosen the scene when he is telling the children off after taking some of the animals from the zoo on to the coach. I would tell the actor taking the part of Mr Briggs to act very angry and to also act as though he is above all of the children like a military officer.

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