The Menier Chocolate Factory presents first major revival of Willy Russell’s Laurence Olivier Award-winning comedy Educating Rita.

Much to the dismay of her husband Denny, Rita, a young, brash hairdresser, has recently discovered a passion for English literature and enrols with the Open University. Her fresh, unschooled reaction to the classics challenges the attitudes of the university and her lecturer Frank, who begins to question his own understanding of his work and himself.

Educating Rita premiered at the Piccadilly theatre in 1980. One of Russell’s best loved plays, it was made into a highly successful film in 1983 starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine.

In Jeremy Sams’s revival for the Menier, Laura Dos Santos and Larry Lamb star as pupil and teacher. Lamb is best known for his recent television roles in EastEnders and Gavin And Stacey, though he has a long stage pedigree with work for the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court and West End. Young actress Dos Santos has previously been seen in Russell’s Stags And Hens.

Educating Rita plays at the Menier Chocolate Factory in repertoire with Shirley Valentine, as part of a season celebrating Russell, the playwright and novelist whose other work includes the long-running musical Blood Brothers.

For more about Educating Rita at the Menier Chocolate Factory read the First Night Feature.

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