Odds and quads

These striking posters are part of the personal material donated by playwright Willy Russell to Liverpool John Moores University’s Special Collections and Archives.

May 9, 2013

Born in Whiston, Merseyside, in 1947, Russell is probably most famous for the musical Blood Brothers (1983) and the plays Educating Rita (1980) and Shirley Valentine (1986). His first major success, the Beatles musical John, Paul, George, Ringo…and Bert, premiered at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre in 1974 before transferring to the West End, and many of his later works were also set and debuted in Liverpool. Delighted to have “a much tidier office”, Russell is also pleased that his manuscripts are now “housed in a building no more than a few yards from where most of them were written and first performed”.

The Russell archive at LJMU consists of material relating to each of his plays, including details of the audition and casting processes, as well as his early writing for television, his many tours and performances as a musician and songwriter, and his only novel, The Wrong Boy, published in 2000.

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com

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