Stage comedy to Educated Rita

Educating Rita. Picture by  Pete Weston
Educating Rita. Picture by Pete Weston

The thought-provoking and powerful nature of education will play out at the Talisman Theatre with next month’s run of Educating Rita.

Willy Russell’s classic and moving comedy will come to the Barrow Road theatre almost 35 years after its premiere threw a young Julie Walters into the limelight.

The play tells the story of university lecturer Frank (Matthew Salisbury) looking to earn some extra money - if only to subsidise his drinking.

Agreeing to tutor an Open University student, he finds himself with brash hairdresser, Rita aka Susan (Julie-Ann Randell) who has discovered a passion for higher education.

In her attempts to appreciate literature and learn, Rita challenges the attitudes of a traditional university, teaching Frank to question his own understanding of his work and himself.

The play explores the complex relationship between student and tutor and Kenilworth director, David Draper, said has been wholeheartedly embraced by the cast who bring the play to life in a way audiences are sure to love.

Director of publicity, John Francis, said: “With an election looming, a number of the theatre management team wanted to put on a few shows that illuminated the present with a recollection of the recent past.

“I think there are ideals and values that have been lost in the short 35 years since the play’s inception.

“As well as a fine cast and director the action will take place on a John Ellam set and once again a strong technical team will ensure the theatre’s production values are maintained.”

The show runs from February 2 to February 7 with performances at 7:30pm each day.

Tickets are priced between £7 and £8.50 and available through the box office on 856548 or via the website at