Our Day Out was first shown on BBC1 in 1976 as part of the glorious Play for Today series - those were the days when the BBC produced proper plays by proper playwrights, and dealt with real issues. I have a clear and lasting memory of the piece, and I am delighted that Castaway are staging the play for our summer slot.
As I am old enough to have many cherished memories (and some not so cherished) of 'the school trip' from the seventies, I decided to stage the play as a period piece - purely because it was far more poignant for me - therefore more inspiring. I have not chosen a particular year, but left it open for the events of the play to have taken place around '73 - '76. It is easy to get nostalgic about this period. However, against a backdrop of the fall (and later rise) of the Tories, and the gradual disintegration of the Labour movement, there were harsh realities - car strikes, miners' strikes, power cuts and the three day week made life pretty grim for so many.
BUT!! WE STILL HAD THE SCHOOL TRIP!!! And (apart from garbage like the Rollers) we had some fab music! Not surprisingly you will hear quite a lot of this tonight. Indeed, one particular piece taken from Alice Cooper's Welcome to My Nightmare album from 1975 is extremely poignant for me... I purchased that album on a school trip to the Channel Isles in the summer of '75! There's nothing wrong with just a little gratuitous nostalgia, is there?
The company would like to send their best wishes to Julie McNicholls and her family; Julie had to pull out of the play in the last week of rehearsal due to a family bereavement. Our thoughts also go to Derek Bell who was taken ill in the last week and also had to pull out at the last minute. We would like to thank Norma Izon for taking on the part of Jackie and Dan Frost for taking on the part of Les at this late stage. We would also like to thank Julie and Derek for all their hard work on this production and we look forward to working with them both again soon.