Educating Rita by Willy Russell3.5***
From the book jacket: Hairdresser Rita feels that life has passed her by. She wants an education. But does Frank have anything to teach her?
Yes, Frank does have something to teach Rita, but she also teaches him. I love watching Rita grow and change throughout this play. I’ve never seen the play performed, nor did I watch the movie, though I remember it being quite popular back in the early 1980s. I knew the basic premise, however and was still delighted to watch it unfold.
Rita is a marvelous character. Witty, and forthright. She does not suffer fools gladly, though at the outset she lacks confidence. She feel “less than” due to a lack of education, and envies the students on the university campus their lifestyle. Rita is not sure what she wants out of life, but she knows she wants more, and she sees education as a means to give her more options.
Frank is a perfect foe: a professor and has-been poet, who has more interest in the contents of the whiskey bottles than the contents of the books that line his office shelves, and behind which he stashes the drink. He’s cynical and has taken this special student only for the money.
But Frank sees something in Rita that sparks his interest. She’s so eager to learn, and he is forced to examine his own thoughts on books and literature and poetry and life based on her questions (and answers). He recognizes in her the spark of desire, and she kindles that spark in him. No, I don’t mean sexual desire - I mean that desire to live, to experience life fully, to learn new things, not because we need them for a job or a career, but because we simply want to live more fully. Rita isn’t certain what path she will choose, but she knows that, thanks to Frank, she now has more choices.
Educating Rita Summary
September 13th - September 26th. September 24th - September 28th. When married hairdresser Rita enrols on a university course to expand her horizons, little does she realise where the journey will take her. Written by one of our greatest ever playwrights Willy Russell and starring one of our best loved actors Stephen Tompkinson as Frank, introducing Jessica Johnson as Rita. One of Willy Russell's plays seems to come around with great regularly - Blood Brothers - whilst another sits quietly remembered as a film. So it's with great pleasure to see that Educating Rita is currently on tour and visiting Malvern this week. But who could possibly take the roles played in the film version by Michael Caine and Julie Walters?
If only I'd been able to believe they were actually reading the books, then everything else would have fallen into place. But I didn't believe it., Join StageAgent today and unlock amazing theatre resources and opportunities.
Educating Rita is a stage comedy by British playwright Willy Russell. It is a play for two actors set entirely in the office of an Open University tutor. The play was directed by Mike Ockrent. The plays follows the relationship between a year-old Liverpudlian working class hairdresser and Frank, a middle-aged university lecturer, during the course of a year. Frank Bryant. Susan who initially calls herself Rita , dissatisfied with the routine of her work and social life, seeks inner growth by signing up for and attending an Open University course in English Literature. The play opens as 'Rita' meets her tutor, Frank, for the first time.