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Willy Russell to open NAWE Conference
Tue 8 Jul 2008
Willy Russell, one of the UK's most successful playwrights, will be the guest speaker on the opening night of NAWE's conference in Manchester this November.
   
Willy Russell is well known as the writer of Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine and the musical Blood Brothers (for which he also wrote the score). His first novel, The Wrong Boy, published in 2000, has been translated into fifteen languages and serialized for Channel 4's 'One Word' programme.

Born in Liverpool, Willy became a hairdresser on leaving school, an experience, he says, that made him an indifferent dresser of hair but 'a good listener'. He then undertook a variety of jobs, also writing songs which were performed in local folk clubs. At 20 years of age, he returned to college and became a teacher in Toxteth, after which he began to become interested in writing drama.

His first play, Keep your Eyes Down, was produced in 1971, and he became well-known after his musical about the Beatles, John, Paul, George, Ringo â?¦ and Bert, ran for eight weeks at Liverpool Everyman Theatre. It was transferred to the West End and won the Evening Standard and London Theatre Critic Award for best musical in 1974.

Both Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine were made into films from Willy Russell's own screenplays starring Julie Walters and Pauline Collins respectively, each winning an Oscar nomination, as did the author for best screenplay.

Willy will be available to sign books (on sale) after the event.

The full conference programme will be mailed to all members together with the journal (No. 45) early in July.

Full booking information is already available.

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