“That’s why they come to the hairdressers – because they want to be changed. But if you wanna change y’ have to do it from the inside, don’t y?”
Educating Rita, Willy Russell’s intimate comedy with big ideas and an even bigger heart, is a gem of British theatre. Inspired by Russell’s own experiences of returning to education, this multi-award winning comedy returns to Manchester for the first time in over twenty years, directed by Chris Honer.
Brash, straight-talking hairdresser Rita is determined to change her life. She wants to know ‘everything’ and she thinks the Open University might just be the answer. World-weary, alcohol-fuelled lecturer Frank is a failed poet, a self-acknowledged ‘appalling teacher of appalling students’. In fact, he’s just about given up. In need of extra cash, he agrees to tutor Rita, totally unaware of the whirlwind that’s about to enter his world…
The unlikely pair form a life-changing bond as Rita starts to find herself, and Frank finds a whole new lease of life. Touching, life-affirming and very, very funny, Educating Rita is a comic masterpiece from one of our best-loved writers.
We are delighted to have two well-known British TV and stage actors in the roles of Rita and Frank. Gillian Kearney is best known for playing Jessica Harrison in Casualty and her leading roles in Shameless and Brookside. The pick of many stage credits might be her performance as the titular character in Hedda Gabler (2006) at Liverpool Playhouse. Philip Bretherton played George in Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (2007) at the Royal Exchange Theatre and will be familiar as Alistair Deacon to fans of the long running BBC sitcom As Time Goes By.
Still not sure if Educating Rita is for you? Listen to what people have thought of the show so far and take a peek behind the scenes…
The production contains strong language and smoking.