Stags and Hens


Stags and Hens is a play written by Willy Russell. Like most of Willy Russell's work, the play discusses working class society in England in the 1970s. It makes comments about the working class' intellect, life, party habits and the exclusion of the different. It was originally written in 1978 for television and drama students of the then-Manchester Polytechnic, as an in-house television production. It was first published as a script in 1986 in a collection with Educating Rita and Blood Brothers.Russell adapted it for performance in 2008 as Stags and Hens – The Remix at The Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool. The play ran in February to March 2008, directed by Bob Eaton. Russell says that "I wanted the play to move at a kind of pace that was more in keeping with a theatrical tempo that has significantly increased in the thirty years since the play was first seen.", though he "vehemently disagrees" with the suggestion that he was "pandering to the needs of an audience" with a "limited attention span and who must increasingly be spoon-fed". It now numbers 90 pages. The play has become successful and is now popularly used in schools. Russell adapted the play into a TV movie called Dancin' Thru the Dark, which was filmed in 1990.
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