Educating Rita By Willy Russell

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“Educating Rita” written in 1980 by Willy Russell, is a play that explores the way in which a working class Liverpudlian woman, Rita (Susan), follows the change from unhappiness to happiness. The story is a comedy, which revolves around the growing personal relationship between Rita, and her Open University Literature tutor, Dr. Frank Byrant. Russell often mocks many parts of society at a time when the play was set including education, social class and patriarchy.

Rita is used to create comedy within the play, and introduces her to a contrasting character, Frank, to provide a difficult relationship. Rita is lively and bubbly from a working class background, where she was not able to achieve the education that she would have liked, “See if I’d started taking school seriously I would have been different from my mates, and that’s not allowed.” Frank, who is from a middle class background, does not have the energy or enthusiasm for his work or teaching anymore. This automatically creates conflict with one another, as they have been brought up living within two very different environments. When Rita has her first lesson, Frank is clearly very unenthusiastic about having to teach Rita, because she came in so confidently, ready to learn and extremely enthusiastic – the opposite to how Frank was feeling at the time. Apart from their difference in class, Frank and Rita struggle to communicate to start with. There is use of colloquial, working class Liverpudlian dialect, which
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