A major new stage production of Willy Russell’s Educating Rita will tour the UK, starring Stephen Tompkinson as Frank, and Jessica Johnson as Rita. The production will be directed by Max Roberts.
Educating Rita, tells the story of married Liverpudlian hairdresser, Rita, who enrols on an Open University course, to expand her horizons, but encounters belligerent, cynical, university 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.
The play was originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and played at the Warehouse Theatre, London in 1980, starring Julie Walters and Mark Kingston. Julie Walters reprised her role in the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning film opposite Michael Caine.
Stephen Tompkinson’s theatre work includes Spamalot, Rattle of a Simple Man and Arsenic and Old Lace in the West End, Cloaca and A Christmas Carol (Old Vic), Art and Tartuffe (national tours).
Jessica Johnson previously played Rita in Rebecca Frecknall’s 2017 production of Educating Rita at the Gala Theatre, Durham. Her television credits include Wire In The Blood (ITV), Coronation Street (ITV) and Cuckoo (Channel 4).
TOUR SCHEDULE 2019
April 18 – 27, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
April 30 – May 4, The Lowry, Salford
May 6 – 11, Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
May 13 – 18, Nottingham Theatre Royal
May 20 – June 1, Theatr Clwyd, Mold
June 3 – 8, Theatre Royal, Bath
June 17 – 22, Salisbury Playhouse
June 24 – 29, Exeter Northcott Theatre
July 2 – 6, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness
July 8 – 13, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
July 15 – 20, Theatre Royal Wakefield
July 22 – 27, Sheffield Lyceum Theatre.
Further venues to be announced