The play Educating Rita by Willy Russell gained great popularity especially during the early eighties. There has also been a movie made from it starring Julie Walters and the more famous Michael Caine. As so often the case, the movie was more elaborate with additional scenes, some of which were spoken of or retold by the actors in the play. The movie also included several actors while the play only featured two, Frank and Rita.
After having read the play and seen the movie I am struck by a number of differences. Seemingly subtle, many small details have a great impact on how the story can and is being perceived. The movie offers much more background information on other characters and events that are important to the story.
'The Screenwriter's Bible' by David Trottier offers a good insight in script writing and story structure. It deals with the basic elements of a typical screenplay, and explains what it actually is that an audience craves. Many of the principles can and should be applied to any story whether a screenplay, theatric play, novel or short story.
The play is much more predictable in the sense that a great many things are bound not to happen on stage. In fact nothing taking place outside Frank's office can be seen by the audience. All action is inevitably confined within these four walls. When Frank invites ...
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...ion of the story and the characters.
You may prefer the play or the movie Educating Rita or plays before movies in general, or vice versa. Fact remains that there are several details and little bits of information, important to the story that are in the movie but are missing in the play.
Russell, Willy. Educating Rita. London: Suzy Graham-Adriani Longman Literature 1991
Educating Rita (The movie) Directed by Lewis Gilbert, Screenplay by Willy Russel, Columbia Pictures 1983
Trottier, David. The screenwriters bible: a complete guide to writing, formatting, and selling your script. Silman-James Press 1995
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