Educating Rita comes to Royal & Derngate

Stephen Tompkinson and Jessica Johnson star in Willy Russell’s classic comedy Educating Rita when it comes to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate from Monday 26 to Saturday 31 July.

Educating Rita by Willy Russell 2020
Director Max Roberts
Designer Patrick Connellan
Lighting Designer Drummond Orr
Stephen Tompkinson as Frank
Jessica Johnson as Rita
©Nobby Clark
nobby@nobbyclark.co.uk

Educating Rita tells the story of married hairdresser Rita, who enrols on an Open University course to expand her horizons, and her encounters withuniversity tutor Frank. Frank is a frustrated poet, brilliant academic and dedicated drinker, who is less than enthusiastic about teaching Rita. However, Frank soon finds that his passion for literature is reignited by Rita, whose technical ability for the subject is limited by her lack of education, but whose enthusiasm Frank finds refreshing. The two soon realise how much they have to learn from each other.

 This hilarious and heart-warming comedy won the Olivier Award when it was produced in London’s West End by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and was adapted into the multi-award-winning film starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine.

Educating Rita tells the story of married hairdresser Rita, who enrols on an Open University course to expand her horizons, and her encounters withuniversity tutor Frank. Frank is a frustrated poet, brilliant academic and dedicated drinker, who is less than enthusiastic about teaching Rita. However, Frank soon finds that his passion for literature is reignited by Rita, whose technical ability for the subject is limited by her lack of education, but whose enthusiasm Frank finds refreshing. The two soon realise how much they have to learn from each other.

 This hilarious and heart-warming comedy won the Olivier Award when it was produced in London’s West End by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and was adapted into the multi-award-winning film starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine.

 Willy Russell’s other writing credits include the Olivier Award-winning musical Blood Brothers, and the hugely successful Shirley Valentine.

 Producer David Pugh said: “Rita is the most extraordinary character – she wanted to change and learn so much and that’s everything we’re all going through at the moment, to adapt to the world as it is now. What we know is that Educating Rita gives you a great night out at the theatre and that’s the best any of us can hope for.

Stephen Tompkinson’s television credits include five series of DCI Banks, four series of Trollied, seven series of Wild at Heart, six series of Drop the Dead Donkey and three series of Ballykissangel, and his films include Brassed Off.  

Educating Rita can be seen on the Derngate stage from Monday 26 to Saturday 31 July at 7.30pm with matinees at 2.30pm on Thursday and Saturday. Tickets – priced from £15* – can be booked by calling:

Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at www.royalandderngate.co.uk.

* A charge of £3.50 applies for all transactions of £20 and over. Does not apply to Groups, Members or Disabled Patrons, and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.