Written Performance Concept for Rita in Educating Rita

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 84
  • Published : April 7, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Written Performance Concept for Rita in Educating Rita by Willy Russell

Educating Rita is a small and intimate play and tells a story of big ideas, close to Russell’s heart. The play is comical which steams from Rita’s lack of education and fresh reaction to English Literature however; it is also a very serious play. It was inspired by Russell’s experience at evening classes, through this he never patronises Rita as he recognises education as an escape from one’s own circumstances. The play is set in the late 70’s, early 80’s (Britain’s dark decade) in Liverpool, during the reign of the iron lady Margret Thatcher. The plays main themes are choice and class. The class system was quickly reforming in Britain under Conservatism via Thatcher and the class line was buckling under the miner strikes, rotting rubbish and the ideologies of individualism. Rita is unaffected by many of the changes as her life as a ‘short and sweet’ hairdresser was not under much strain. However life was difficult for many working class people in this era trying to make ends meat in difficult economic conditions and industrial unrest. Rita attends the Open University, which gives normal members of society a ‘liberating’ education. The Open University consists of weekly tutorials which could easily be slotted into many daily lifestyles hence its popularity. An expectation for women in the 70’s was usually to get married, produce children and furthermore uphold religion in their lives. Rita is 26 and has no children and she is looked down upon and frequently pressured by her family and community to have kids. Her journey of self-discovery is unappreciated and out of the portrayed stereotype. Socially the 70’s were a time of ‘free-sprits’ and hippy culture. Society was also under threat from rising sub cultures, and throughout the play we can see Rita get caught up in this wave of change, which was sweeping over society. Fashion in he 70’s was dramatically changing, with the rise of Lycra,...
tracking img