Explore the ways in which Russell engages the audiences interest in
the main characters and themes in the opening scene of Educating Rita
and explain whether you think the play written in 1979 is still
relevant to 2005.
Willy Russell’s play, Educating Rita, written in 1979, is a story
about a typical lower class woman called Rita who decides she wants to
lead an ‘educated life’ and she tries to do this by getting a private
tutor called Frank to teach her, but learning to lead an educated
life proves to be not what she expected.
Willy Russell introduces Frank and Rita in two very different ways.
Frank is introduced as a well read university tutor who seems to like
his drink; this is shown when Russell writes ’the walls are lined with
books’ making him appear educated. But then writes: “pulls out a pile
of books to reveal a bottle of whisky” which makes the audience
question their first impression of him as a typical university
teacher, is he an alchoholic? Does he drink too much? Is this
Rita is introduced as an uneducated, loud, rude young woman. The first
impression Russell gives the audience is Rita saying: “I’m comin’ in,
aren’t I?” to someone she has never met before, which shows a lack of
manners or simply a casual upbringing. He then shows her going to a
chair and “dumping her bag”. By using the verb “dump” Russell
immediately suggests that Rita is not a ladylike person, and this
follows the impression that she is ill mannered.
Russell presents the play as a two-hander so that the audience is
focused on the clash between Frank and Rita and the entire play is
focused on Frank and Rita’s point of view. The two very contrasting
personalities seem t...
... middle of paper ...
... or missing
something in his life, and Rita also says ‘ I want to be free’ which
means she feels trapped in her life and wants to escape and she wants
to do this by getting educated. They both seem to change through the
play almost into totally different people, Rita changes her name to
susan as she thinks it sounds ‘proper’. The play has a certain humour
about it as the two characters personalities and views are almost
opposite, this creates chaos, as neither of them knows what the other
is talking about which is amusing to the audience, and Rita is very
loud and uses a lot of swearing and slang which is not what you would
expect in a university. In conclusion, Russell uses the contrast
of the two characters in Educating Rita to create humour and engage
the audience, whilst facing issues and views that are still a problem
and relevant to today in 2005.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Comparing the Opening Scene of Educating Rita to the Opening Scene of Pygmalion These plays revolve around the theme of an upper class, well-educated man transforming a lower class woman into someone like himself. One is Pygmalion; a play set in the time when there was a very distinct class system and members of different classes avoided each other as much as possible. Educating Rita is set much more recently, when the classes mingled much more frequently and when the class system was much less distinct.... [tags: Papers]
1812 words (5.2 pages)
- 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.... [tags: English Literature]
1481 words (4.2 pages)
- The Power of the Single Set in Educating Rita There are obvious financial and logistical reasons for making Educating Rita a two-handed play, but Willy Russell does far more with this format than simply save money on actors and sets. The play is essentially about the impact of education on the lives of two people and it therefore does not need to distract the audience with Rita and Frank's other relationships and concerns. The depth and intensity of Rita and Frank's relationship is also highlighted by having them as the only characters on stage.... [tags: Educating Rita Essays]
1164 words (3.3 pages)
- 'Educating Rita' Raises Serious Issues 'Educating Rita' was voted best comedy of the year when performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1980 and by 1983 it had risen to be the fourth most popular play on the British stage. Russell uses humour as a tool to engage and entertain his audience whilst at the same time dealing with serious topics. Without the humour, the play would be less accessible and would probably have reached a much more limited and elitist audience. The play is naturalistic with a fixed and simple staging, which firmly reflects the real world.... [tags: Educating Rita Essays]
2952 words (8.4 pages)
- Introducting the Characters and Themes in Educating Rita GCSE Coursework: In what ways is Act 1 Scene 1 of “Educating Rita” a good introduction to the play’s main characters and themes. Do you think Willy Russell has made his opening dramatic and entertaining. “I’m coming in aren’t I. It’s that stupid bleedin’ handle on the door!” is not the way in which we would expect a new university student to talk to a lecture she had never meet before, but as we later find out, Rita, is not a stereotypical student and her lecture, Frank, is not a stereotypical lecture.... [tags: Educating Rita Plays Social Classes Essays]
1283 words (3.7 pages)
- Comparing Act One Scene One and Act Two Scene One of Educating Rita In willy Russell's play "educating Rita" the first scenes of each acts are very different from each other. In act two scene one there is almost a complete reverse in characters attitude, status and behaviour from the first scene of act one. This is because in act one, Rita really admires Frank and wishes she could be just like him because of his vast knowledge. However in act two Frank admires the change in Rita but at the same time he is also upset because he has lost the Rita he used to know and he thinks that Rita no longer needs him because she knows 'what wine to buy and what clothes to wear' but Rita doesn't realise t... [tags: Educating Rita Social Classes Essays]
1457 words (4.2 pages)
- Educating Rita The play Educating Rita, only has two characters, Frank and Rita, Rita wants to learn literacy, and Frank is her tutor. The play is set in the 1970's, when there was not a lot of unemployment, and there was plenty of money. Although Rita has everything she needs, she is dis-satisfied with her life, she wants something more. Rita feels that there is no meaning to life, and she wants to find one. The characters Rita and Frank are two totally different people, Rita is uneducated and common, whereas Frank is educated and well spoken.... [tags: Education Educating Rita Willy Russell Essays]
863 words (2.5 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Papers]
654 words (1.9 pages)
- Rita and Frank's Relationship in Educating Rita At the start of the play, Rita and Frank's personalities clash because Rita is an uneducated girl who has the attitude of the working class. Rita wants to improve herself and her life style. She wants to be in a position where she has choices, the choice to change her life or to stay the way she is, Rita calls it "finding herself." However, Frank on the other hand is a man who has found teaching boring and uninspiring, he has become disillusioned with his life, Rita is like a breath of fresh air thrown into his drab, dreary and very bland life.... [tags: Papers]
931 words (2.7 pages)
- Educating Rita The title of the play ‘Educating Rita’ refers to a woman called Rita who decides to enrol on a literature course at an open university. Rita is a working class, 26-year-old hairdresser. She has a husband called Denny who disapproves of Rita’s decision of enrolling on a course at the Open University, as he is worried she is going to turn into a different, more educated woman. The play is set in the 1980’s. Which means that because Rita is working class she has to break away from the restrictions, which are imposed, on her by her husband Denny and the community she lives in.... [tags: Papers]
1577 words (4.5 pages)