Lenny Henry who makes his Chichester debut in Willy Russell’s classic comedy, Educating Rita, about the transformative power of education, is set to pass on advice and his experiences to the area’s teens.
While at Chichester, Henry is joining a panel of local young people at Youth Get In! to discuss the career choices available today, as they consider higher education or alternative pathways to success.
Like the protagonist in Educating Rita, Henry has completed an Open University degree and has spoken of this as a pivotal moment in his life.
Educating Rita sees worn out and disillusioned English lecturer Frank (Henry) encounter outspoken hairdresser Rita (Lashana Lynch) who is determined to better herself through education.
Frank has never met anyone like Rita, until the Open University brings them together, changing both of their lives.
Willy Russell’s touching and enduring comedy about the relationship between teacher and student has delighted audiences around the world and celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.
Since first appearing on television on a 1970s talent show, Henry has forged a versatile and lasting career across stage and screen.
In recent years he has focused on major theatrical roles with credits including award-winning performances in West End productions of Fences and Othello, Rudy’s Rare Records (Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Hackney Empire) and The Comedy of Errors at the National Theatre.
Forthcoming projects include BBC1’s The Syndicate and a feature-length television drama Danny And The Human Zoo.
Lashana Lynch, making her Chichester debut, recently appeared as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet at The Shed (National Theatre), BBC1’s Death in Paradise and BBC3’s Crims.
Educating Rita, directed by Michael Buffong, artistic director of Talawa Theatre Company, runs in the Minerva Theatre from June 18-July 25.
Youth Get In! is on July 11 at the Minerva Theatre. Tickets £5.