Preview: Educating Rita at Building 34


The time has come for Theatre Group’s last show (sob) of this academic year: Willy Russell’s Educating Rita.

Russell’s comedy originally premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in London in 1980. It is set entirely in the office of Open University lecturer, Frank, who is forced to question his cynical attitude to life when he is assigned as tutor to a young hairdresser named Rita. Rita, who has enrolled on an English Literature course at the university, is likewise profoundly affected by her relationship with Frank.

This independent show will see Ruthie Pinion and Robbie Smith take on the roles of Rita and Frank. With Pinion’s well-established rep as choreographer and director, both for Theatre Group and Showstoppers, it will be exciting to see her take to the stage for the first time. Similarly, Smith’s previous appearance as sweet Ferdinand in The Tempest earlier this year could not be more different to the middle-aged pessimist and alcoholic Frank, making for an interesting role change-up.

What’s more, those used to the usual Annex staging are in for an interesting surprise. Director Will Hankey explains: ‘We’re performing the play in a room set up to be like a lecturer’s office and we’re trying to make it really immersive by having all the audience sat like they’re in a classroom – so fingers crossed it works!’

Educating Rita is showing in Building 34/3019 from Thursday 9th to Saturday 11th June at 7:30pm. Each performance will be capped at 30 people so reserve your tickets here now.


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English Lit + German student. I write and act and stuff.

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