To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
Live Statistics
English Articles
Improved in 24 Hours
Added in 24 Hours
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

Educating Rita

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Educating Rita
Samuel French acting edition cover
Written byWilly Russell
Date premieredJune 1980
Place premieredDonmar Warehouse
Original languageEnglish
SubjectPygmalion-style drama about a hairdresser's literary quest.

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.

Commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Educating Rita premièred at The Warehouse, London, in June 1980 starring Julie Walters and Mark Kingston. The play was directed by Mike Ockrent.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/3
    17 137
    1 294
  • Blackpool Grand Theatre | Willy Russell's Educating Rita Cast Interview - Best Of British Comedy
  • Michael Caine Wins Best Actor Motion Picture Musical or Comedy - Golden Globes 1984
  • Educating Rita - Theatre Royal Glasgow - ATG Tickets


Plot summary

The plays follows the relationship between a 26-year-old Liverpudlian working class hairdresser and Frank, a middle-aged university lecturer, during the course of a year.[1] In the play Frank has no surname, but when the film was made he became Dr. 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. Frank is a middle-aged, alcoholic career academic who has taken on the tutorship to pay for his drink. The two have an immediate and profound effect on one another; Frank is impressed by Susan's verve and earnestness and is forced to re-examine his attitudes and position in life; Susan finds Frank's tutelage opens doors to a bohemian lifestyle and a new self-confidence. However, Frank's bitterness and cynicism return as he notices Susan beginning to adopt the pretensions of the university culture he despises. Susan becomes disillusioned by a friend's attempted suicide and realises that her new social niche is rife with the same dishonesty and superficiality she had previously sought to escape. The play ends as Frank, sent to Australia on a sabbatical, welcomes the possibilities of the change.


The play deals with the concept of freedom, change, Britain's class system, the shortcomings of institutional education, and the nature of self-development and of personal relationships. The play borrows from the 1913 George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, itself based upon archetypes from Greek myth.

Film adaptation

The play was adapted by Russell for a 1983 film with Michael Caine and Julie Walters, directed by Lewis Gilbert.

Radio adaptation

The play was adapted by Russell for radio in 2009. It starred Bill Nighy and Laura Dos Santos directed by Kirsty Williams, and was a 90-minute play broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Boxing Day 2009.[2]


In 1987, Laurie Metcalf starred as Rita in a production Off-Broadway at the Westside Theatre produced by the Steppenwolf Theater Company.[3]

From June to July 2001, the Williamstown Theatre Festival mounted a production of Educating Rita at the Nikos Stage starring Jacqueline McKenzie as Rita and Edward Herrmann as Frank. The production was directed by Bruce Paltrow[4] and was critically acclaimed with critics touting McKenzie's performance as "wonderfully beguiling and of the best performances of the year".[5]

From 26 March to 8 May 2010, as part of the Willy Russell season at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Laura Dos Santos reprised her radio performance on stage as Rita alongside Larry Lamb as Frank. This was the production's first London West End revival. This production transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in London's West End from 8 July to 30 October 2010, produced by Sonia Friedman. Laura Dos Santos reprised her radio and Menier Chocolate Factory performance as Rita, and Frank was played by renowned actor Tim Pigott-Smith. Like the Willy Russell season at the Menier Chocolate Factory, the production ran in repertory alongside Shirley Valentine starring Meera Syal. A UK tour played in 2012, starring Claire Sweeney and Matthew Kelly as Rita and Frank respectively.

A 35th anniversary production was staged at Liverpool Playhouse from 6 February to 7 March 2015, starring Leanne Best as Rita and Con O'Neill as Frank, directed by Gemma Bodinetz. The same year the Chichester Festival staged a production with Lenny Henry and Lashana Lynch as Frank and Rita.[6]

Awards and nominations

The original production received the 1980 Olivier Award nomination for Comedy Performance of the Year for Julie Walters and won for Comedy of the Year.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Act 1 consists of seven scenes running from January to May, and Act 2 a further seven running from September to December. Source: Programme for run at Liverpool Playhouse, 1981
  2. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Saturday Drama, Educating Rita". BBC. Retrieved Sep 1, 2021.
  3. ^ New York Times Metcalf accessed 2-13-20122
  4. ^ "Educating Rita | Williamstown Theatre Festival". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  5. ^ "WTF after 50 years: a personal recollection". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  6. ^ "Lenny Henry fluffing his lines makes us warm to him even more". the Guardian. Jun 24, 2015. Retrieved Sep 1, 2021.
  7. ^ "Olivier Awards, 1980", retrieved 24, 2019

Further reading

  • Russell, Willy (1981). Educating Rita: A Comedy (First ed.). London: Samuel French. ISBN 0-573-11115-4.

External links

This page was last edited on 25 February 2024, at 23:20
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.