Directed by Daniel Slater
Music by Mark-Anthony Turnage
Photography by Mark J. Townsend
Cast: Rachael Hewer & Jonathan Rigby
EDUCATING RITA is a comedy by award-winning Liverpudlian playwright, Willy Russell.
Susan (who initially calls herself Rita), dissatisfied with the routine of her work and social life, seeks inner growth by signing up for an Open University course in English Literature. Rita’s tutor, Frank, is a middle-aged, alcoholic academic who has taken on the tutorship to pay for his drink. The two have an immediate and profound effect on one another; and the play tells the story of Rita’s development and growth as she is “educated” and the effect that the process has on Frank and his attitude to education and his own life and career.
The production opened at the Gainsborough Trinity Arts Centre in April 2013, and subsequently visited Wickenby Broadbent Theatre, Goxhill Memorial Hall, Louth Riverhead Theatre, Bawtry Phoenix Theatre, Doncaster Little Theatre, Sutton-on-Sea Meridale Centre, Willoughby Village Hall, Woodhall Spa Coronation Hall, Worksop Acorn Theatre, Leadenham Hall, Caistor Town Hall, Spilsby Theatre, Grimsby Caxton Theatre, Howden Shire Hall, Stamford Corn Exchange and Sleaford Playhouse.
Brilliant, captivating and engaging describe Daniel Slater’s direction of Educating Rita; making for a memorable and entertaining night at the theatre.
It helps that the award-winning Willy Russell wrote the script and the play stars two accomplished actors, Rachel Hewer and Jonathan Rigby, who enjoy a terrific chemistry on stage.
Rachael presents us with a colourful Rita; it is impossible not to warm to her character. She successfully maintains a broad Liverpudlian accent and allows Rita to trigger memories of our own insecurities.
Jonathan treats us to an urbane and instantly likeable Frank, his looks and hand gestures all contribute to building the personality of a character that we believe in totally.
Both display superb comic timing and the duo hold our attention throughout.
There are more opportunities to see Educating Rita in our area and I thoroughly recommend that you seize the chance; particularly if you enjoy good theatre because you won’t be disappointed.
Trevor Ekins, April 2013