Review: Educating Rita

ASC_2749Wanting to improve herself Rita enrols on an Open University course, however, when she meets her tutor Frank they both get much more than they bargained for.

Educating Rita is a story of self – discovery. Hairdresser Rita comes from a working class background. Her husband insists that he wants her to give up work and have children and whilst she is looking after the home he wants to spend his evening in the local pub. Rita wants more from life… She wants to learn ‘everything’!

Her new tutor Frank is far more interested in his whiskey bottle than teaching his pupils about the classics, however this new student is different to the others.

What they both discover about themselves will change both of their lives forever.

Written by Willy Russell and wonderfully directed by Patrick Sandford this production of Educating Rita is fantastically cast. Dougal Lee’s portrayal of tutor Frank works brilliantly well when paired with Samantha Robinson’s Rita. The on-stage chemistry between the two actors is electric, making for a very believable and moving piece.

Robinson’s delivery of some great one-liners are extremely funny, especially when coupled with ‘straight man’ Lee’s performance.
The whole performance has a ‘Will they? Won’t they?’ feel to it. The tight delivery of the lines and an amazing set makes this the best performance of Educating Rita that this reviewer has seen to date.

Well worth the short trip up the A12 to Colchester, Educating Rita is at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester until Saturday 14th March. To book tickets contact the Box Office on 01206 573948 or visit

_ Review by Wendy Cook, Ipswich24 –

Pictures by Robert Day

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