Essay on Educating Rita - Comparing the Movie and Play

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Educating Rita - Comparing the Movie and Play

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
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The movie is several scenes richer. Some of these scenes are in the play retold by the actors and some of them are not there at all. Scene three in act two begins with Frank cursing "Sod them-no fuck them! Fuck them, eh, Rita? Neither Rita or the audience have the first clue as to what he is referring to. As the dialogue progresses they audience is informed that he is upset because the students reported him since he had been very drunk while giving his last lecture. The audience never get to see the actual scene where this happens. The can never witness Frank staggering and slurring in front of the class. They are not given a fair chance to make an assessment whether they accept Frank's behavior and side with him, or if they think it serves him right to be reported.

David Trottier claims "Never tell what you can show. Be as visual as possible. Rather than two ladies at tea commenting on the fact that Darla skydives for relaxation, show us Darla actually jumping from a plane, or show her coming home with a parachute and trying to stuff it into the closet."

The fact that the audience meet with only two characters in the play is limiting in the sense that a lot of information is implicit or even withheld. David Trottier says "One key to making a drama dramatic is to create a strong central character with a powerful goal, and