Educating Rita – Coursework Piece

‘Educating Rita’ is a play by Willy Russell. It follows two people and their ever changing relationship. It takes place in just one room at a redbrick university in “the North of England”. Frank is an English lecturer at the university. He takes on an Open University teaching course “to pay for the drink”. Rita is a mature student on the course. She is a 26 year-old working-class hairdresser who wants to learn “everything”. She wants “a better way of livin’ [her] life” and to “discover [herself]” by taking English because she hopes this will change her life which she finds tedious and monotonous. Her family, particularly her husband Denny, think that she “should have had a baby by ...

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was always somethin’ …tellin’ me I might have got it all wrong. But I’d just play another record or buy another dress an’ stop worryin’. …’Til … y’ have to decide whether it’s gonna be another change of dress or a change in yourself.” This tells us exactly why she decides to come on the course. She realises that she doesn’t really enjoy her life as much as she thinks she could, and that until now she had been covering those thoughts up by buying a new dress or putting on another song.
Right from the very start the playwright indicates to the reader or audience that Frank is an alcoholic, either through reading the stage directions or listening to the way the actors interpret them. “We recognise the voice of a man who shifts a lot of booze”. He also seems to rate the drink above his work. “He manages a gulp at the whisky before picking up the receiver.” He decides to go to the pub before coming home because he will “need to wash away some silly woman’s attempts to get into ...

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“an’”. This difference in language causes much confusion between the two. When Rita mentions Flora, she is talking about the margarine but he thinks she is talking about the Roman Goddess of flowers and spring. When Rita talks about a poem about fighting death Frank thinks of Dylan Thomas but she is talking about Roger McGough. These misunderstandings add to the humour of the play.
“FRANK – You are?
RITA – What am I?
FRANK – Pardon?
RITA – What?
FRANK – Now you are?
RITA – I’m a what?”

The difference in character is partly shown through stage directions. There are many examples to show how restless and inquisitive Rita is. “Rita begins wandering idly round the room”, ...

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Educating Rita – Coursework Piece. (2004, July 27). Retrieved February 22, 2019, from
"Educating Rita – Coursework Piece.", 27 Jul. 2004. Web. 22 Feb. 2019. <>
"Educating Rita – Coursework Piece." July 27, 2004. Accessed February 22, 2019.
"Educating Rita – Coursework Piece." July 27, 2004. Accessed February 22, 2019.
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Added: 7/27/2004 10:33:18 PM
Category: Arts
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2802
Pages: 11

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