Educating Rita - A Great Education!

by Louise Drage

I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to direct this well-known and popular play for White Cobra! Inspired by the genius of Willy Russell’s writing and loving the portrayal of Rita by Julie Walters in the iconic film, I played the role of Rita myself some years ago. I also studied for my degree with the Open University.

The play is set in a study within a Victorian-built University in the north of England, during the 1980s.

Frank – a university Professor, is dissatisfied and frustrated with his life and the culture of the academic institution he resides in. He is a reluctant tutor for the Open University, a failed poet whose marriage is slowly deteriorating, whilst his dependence on alcohol is increasing.

Enter his first OU student, Rita. She is an exuberant 29-year-old Liverpudlian hairdresser, who feels confined and constrained within her family, her marriage and her working-class existence. She has a passionate desire, to become educated, to learn and grow within a culture that she aspires to be a part of.

However, as Rita begins to ‘find herself’, Frank starts to lose his own sense of identity. A close bond between them emerges as the catalyst to transform each other individually and their respective lives forever.

Rehearsals are well under way. I am working with a talented and experienced cast and crew - Olivia Hulley is playing Rita and Fraser Haines plays Frank.

I hope that you will come along to watch and enjoy it!

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