Analysis of Educating Rita by Willy Russel

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Analysis of Educating Rita by Willy Russel The opening scene of Willy Russels “Educating Rita” is very affective in introducing the characters and the theme of the play. He gains the interest of the audience in many different ways. Firstly as the curtain rises we see frank a man in his early fifties in a room on the first floor of a Victorian built university in the north of England. This gives the effect of an intellectual play in a grand environment. As we first introduced to frank he is a middle-aged man who is scurrying along a bookshelf quickly removing books before instantly replacing them. This behaviour is very unusual and leads to the audience asking all kinds of questions about the character. As he looks further he starts to get angry using phrases like “where the hell.” He then remembers a dickens book giving the impression of poetry to the audience. As he removes the book a whisky bottle is revealed which he then pours a drink from. The audience at this point believe frank is an intelligent, short tempered, middle-aged man who could be a closet alcoholic. After the alcohol fiasco Frank has a telephone call with his partner with whom he is very sarcastic with. The first thing that is noticeable is that Franks speech is recognisable to that of a drunken man confirming any alcoholic queries the audience may already have. His first comment is very disrespectful and also a sarcastic comment: “yes of course I’m still here”. From this one sided call the audience realise that the partner expects him to be somewhere else. He constantly talks about his Open University student in a negative way but also the Open scheme. After... ... middle of paper ... ... is very open considering she has only just met the man. If Rita can tell such things to Frank she must trust him setting up a special bond that will carry on throughout the play. In conclusion I believe Willy Russell has introduced both characters perfectly. Frank is a middle aged, closet alcoholic who doesn’t seem very happy with his personal life. On the other hand he does enjoy a good laugh as well as Rita’s presence. Rita is an un educated woman who is also confident and eccentric. She also enjoys a good laugh with personal problems as well. They both start to connect with each other after a shaky start and even though they are very different in their language they have a lot in common. Willy has set up this friendship to perfection for the rest of the play.

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