Date: Wednesday 27th November 2013
Venue: John Lennon Art and Design Building
To celebrate the deposit of Willy Russell’s archive collection at LJMU, the John Lennon Art and Design Building is hosting an evening with Willy Russell, featuring readings of his works by the author, and an audience question and answer session. The launch event is accompanied by an exhibition of material from the archive collection, curated with assistance from students from the University’s History of Art department.
The exhibition will showcase the impact of Willy Russell’s works on both a local and international platform, and utilise many of the genres of material available in the collection, including original and draft manuscripts, programmes, photographs, will allow for the display of publicity material including production posters, and of film material featuring interviews, performances and live production recordings of Willy Russell’s works.
Willy Russell is best known for the theatre production and film of Educating Rita, the musical Blood Brothers and the theatre production and film of Shirley Valentine. The archive collection is a comprehensive representation of Willy Russell’s work to date; it contains material relating to each of his theatrical works, and also to his early work writing for television, his multiple tours and performances as a musician and songwriter, and his novel, published in 2000.
He commented on the exhibition:
“I’m immensely flattered that LJMU should hold an exhibition to celebrate the launch of the archive. I’m also really looking forward to looking back and taking the trawl through some of the verse, prose, lyrics, drama – and even melody that’s been amassed over the years, and sharing it with an audience.”
Antony Hudek, LJMU Senior Lecturer in the History of Art department said: “Having second-year History of Art students work on the Willy Russell Archive exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become familiar with Russell’s work, and the playwright himself. It is also a chance to experiment with display techniques of archival material relating to theatre, and to study the many overlaps between set and exhibition design.”
The event and exhibition are open to the public, to advertise the archive collection as an important part of the city’s creative and theatrical history, and to promote its use and accessibility. It will be compered by Andrew Sherlock, playwright and Senior Lecturer in Drama at LJMU. The exhibition will open at 6:00 and the readings will begin at 6:30. The event will finish at 8:30. Tickets are available to the event free of charge via: https://willyrussellarchives.eventbrite.com