Willy Russell's Educating Rita

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Willy Russell's Educating Rita The play is in a naturalistic setting. The whole play takes place inside one room, namely Frank’s office; a book-lined study in a university in northern England. And by adhering to the unity of place Willy Russell is not just able to concentrate on the drama, but also the humour of the play. The play is set in year it was written, 1985. The play itself is structured into two Acts. The first act deals with Rita beginning her search and her education, trying desperately to fit into Frank’s world. Frank is the teacher, the one with all the knowledge. He’s always saying the right words. Rita looks up to Frank. Whereas on the other hand you have his opposite, Rita, who is uneducated, loud, out spoken and common. Rita breezes into Frank’s life like a breath of fresh air. The story of the play is that of the developing and changing relationship between the two of them both as teacher and student and also on a more personal level. During the play the character of Rita is completely transformed. And this needs to be shown through the way the actors play their characters and the way they interact on the stage. In the beginning she struggles greatly with her language skills, only managing to develop the necessary skills after her success at the summer school, to succeed in the second act. As the first act experiences the breakdown of Rita’s marriage with Denny; the second half of the play shows evidence of a strong rift between Frank and his partner Julia. The first point at which the audience comes face to face with the characters is Act 1 Scene 1. This scene is important because it introduces t... ... middle of paper ... ...ly change her life in any way at all, but one thing she has gained is the power of choice. She is able to make more decisions in her own life and become who she wants to be. These are not trivial choices like Denny choosing between eight different types of lager down the pub, but real major choices that could affect the whole direction that her life takes. She has a number of opportunities open to her. She can either, go and make a fresh start in Australia with Frank, carry on working in the bistro, return to her old job at the hairdressers or she could choose something totally different. Like having a baby for example, now that she has ‘found herself’. But the point is it’s her decision, she has become a woman who is able to make wise and informed choices about the direction that her life will take from this point on.
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