How does Russell make the opening scene of Educating Rita interesting

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How does Russell make the opening scene of Educating Rita interesting

for the audience?

How does Russell make the opening scene of "Educating Rita"

interesting for the audience? What are the audience invited to think

about in this scene?

In act 1 scene 1, Russell interests the audience by introducing the

two characters Frank and Rita as being two completely different people

from very different backgrounds who are both unhappy. I will explore

their backgrounds and what they want in their lives.

The whole of the play is set in a university office in Liverpool. This

is probably because the play is about their weekly meetings in the

room. It could also be so you only need one set if you were performing

the play. The room has a window overlooking the university gardens.

The walls are lined with books and there is a big desk. There is also

a painting of a nude religious scene on one wall. Frank is educated

and does not really appreciate the room as being anything special

where as Rita is not educated and really wants the room. This also

reflects their attitudes to education, because Frank doesn't really

care that he has an education but Rita wants one and she doesn't have


Frank is a university lecturer who works in the office the play is set

in. He isn't an alcoholic but he does like drinking. This is very

unstereotypical because you think of all teachers as being respected,

law abiding citizens. Frank is not happy in his relationship with

Julia who is an ex-student who he is living with. This relationship

problem is obvious from the start of the play and it opens up the

possibility for a relationship between Rita and Frank.

Frank has a strange sense of humour:-"Yes, that's it, you just pop off...

... middle of paper ...

...the start of the scene they are talking

about whether or not the picture is pornographic and at the end of the

scene they are talking about Flora margarine.

At the end of the scene we are left wondering several things, whether

they are going to get closer, what is Rita going to learn from Frank

and is Frank going to carry on teaching her. At the end of the scene,

the audience are engaged so they want to carry on watching because,

they want to know what will happen in the rest of the play. These

things include, whether she will get what she wants and whether she

will pass or fail her exam. Russell has used the combination of these

two completely different characters to add humour. This humour has

built the drama up a lot because little details are revealed

throughout the scene which makes you raise questions about what will

happen at the end of the play.
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