Educating Rita
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Educating Rita

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  1,448 ratings  ·  58 reviews
'Educating Rita' portrays a working-class Liverpool woman's hunger for education.

It premiered in London, in 1980 and won the Society for West End Theatres (SWET) award for Best Comedy of the Year.

It was made into a highly successful film with Michael Caine and Julie Walters and won the 1983 BAFTA award for Best Film.

Commentary and notes by Steve Lewis.
Paperback, Methuen Modern Plays, 96 pages
Published May 10th 2001 by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama (first published 1980)
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Yakup Koca
I was expecting to see a score around 4.5, yet seemingly I am wrong. But, anyway, this play is more than brilliant (or terrific). There is no excessive or unnecessary use of symbols, everything has written to develop the play smoothly. More importantly, it should not be related with pygmalion or whatsoever. Frank does love an untouched Rita, untouched by himself, by any person. Well, if you think of the first scene in which Rita forces the door to open as Rita's determination to get educated, ma...more
I read this at school and it was quite a fun play and an interesting one to study, given that it takes place between two characters in one room!
Shahzoda Nazarova
I recommend it to my persian friends and readers, who are working hard to make the education acceptable for all and trying to get rid of the discriminational approach to other ethnicities and dialects. One awesome example of a relationship between a teacher and a student, who in a way give a hand to each other to get out of depression.

The radio Drama version of this novel is just brilliant and more appealing. If you have not much time to read, you can simply listen to it, here:

Clare O'Beara
This cheerful little story is a modern day version of Shaw's 'Pygmalion'. Originally it was a play.

Rita, a Liverpool lady in a working-class area, is determined to make something of herself and find out more about English literature. She enrols as a mature student and her tutor, a habitual drinker who's washed up, finds her refreshingly interesting compared to the usual kids in his lectures.

Rita's husband isn't sold on this new fancy stuff, and wants her to start having babies like all the othe...more
If I tried to review this book I would be reviewing the film because that is what was playing on my head as I read it!

By the way, Ross bought this home as homework. Another source of surreptitious serendipitous reads!
I really enjoyed this play. I'd never seen the film, and only had a somewhat vague idea of what it was about, so I was going in quite fresh. Having read only one other play by Russell (Our Day Out), I wasn't expecting all that much, but this was a pleasant surprise.

I really enjoyed the fact that there were only two real characters in this play, Frank and Rita, and I liked how the action (or conversation rather) happened all in one room. This really focused the story and made way for a lot of mea...more
David Sarkies
I really did not like this play, and know that I have read Pygmalion, the play upon which this play must have been based, I dislike it even more. However, it does not run like Pygmalion: there is no bet and the play does not end unpleasantly for Rita. However, like Pygmalion, it is a play about education and how education works to empower people. It was because of this theme that my English teacher loved it because he had returned to school at a later time and become educated, and our class had...more
Honestly, I didn't love this as much as I thought I would. I don't know if it was because I heard the story was going to be slightly different or what, but there was just something missing for me.

I think the main problem was that I was expecting Frank and Rita to have a full-blown affair... and they didn't. I spent the whole time reading this waiting for this big affair scene, and it never happened, and I think that's what left me really disappointed.
Apart from that, the story actually wasn't t...more
Auch dieses Buch habe ich letztendlich nur durch den Schulunterricht in die Hände bekommen - um genau zu sein durch den Englischunterricht. Es hat mich, ehrlich gesagt, nicht so sehr begeistert. Die Sprache war recht gut zu lesen, es war jedoch ärgerlich, dass oftmals die Worte unten erklärt wurden, die man wusste, und unbekannte Wörter selbst nachgeschlagen werden mussten, was das Lesen teils erheblich unterbrochen hat und durchaus störend war.

Das Buch ist in dramatischer Form geschrieben worde...more
Chin Hwa
An awesome play that makes us think what an 'education' is. A working class girl wants to talk 'post', discuss literature, and drink the right kind of wine, so she asks a fifty-something professor and dabbling poet to teach her 'everything'. Yet once she gains her 'education', you can't help wondering whether her 'gain' outweighs her loss. Sure, she has learned how to discern themes of sexuality in a Blake poem, but what has refinement got to do with wisdom, truth, and beauty? Or can I look with...more
Educating Rita is a sweet, little piece that poses interesting questions about what education should aim for exactly, and how important literature is, and who gets to decide what constitutes as literature. An aging professor, Frank, who appears to be in a sort of mid-life crisis, more or less involuntarily begins to tutor a 26-year-old young woman who calls herself Rita and wants to learn everything, because she feels that her job as a hairdresser does not offer quite enough room for her self-re...more
This is an entertaining play to read with interesting themes of education, working class and fitting in (or choosing not to). Excellent choice from a fellow book club member!
Tiffany Day
While there are points being made - and some scenes that would be a fun challenge for the actors - overall, I found the story lacking and dull, espcially the first half. 2 stars
Liked it. It reminded me of the play 'Pygmalion' by G.B.Shaw.The fact that the dramatist works wondrously well with only two characters in the play is simply impressive...
For a book that I studied at school, it was actually pretty good! I really enjoyed it!
Selahattin Samet
One person changes, a society changes; some things should remain the same, though.
Read after seeing film. Enjoyed this updated My Fair Lady.
I had to read this book for school and the be honest it was actually quite good. I wouldn't choose to read it by choice but it was probably by far the favorite/best book I have ever been assigned to read. Its quite good however I think the ending it total shit. The ending actually made me pretty "mad" I can almost say that the ending ruins the book. But all together its a good book a good play and I enjoyed it.
I wasn't expecting to like this... how wrong was I?! I adored this play, and would love to see it performed. I love watching the relationship develop between these two - the direction the characters take and the emotions they draw out of the reader. This is a HSC text that I would have avoided like the plague in the past, but after being forced to read it, it has become a first choice!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danna Ridge
Read this for a class. Probably the best play I've ever read. I loved it. It's a lot like Pygmalion (if you're familiar with that play). I love stories about students that improve and better their lives and circumstances through education, and this play definitely offers that in a very touching way.
It's always sad when a young working class woman wants an education more than anything, and has to get it from a privileged drunken dude, who will learn from her manic pixie dream girl charm. Sad for a real such young woman, but a great role for an actress to show range.
Wayne Jarman
Wonderful, clever dialogue. Often humorous above the undertones of the despondency of the two very colourful characters. Brilliant work ...a very enjoyable read. I look forward to seeing it on stage. Any actor, I am sure, would find these characters challenging to portray.
Marina Dubois
This is really a play, and not a shortstory. It is the first play I have ever read, and it was interesting to try. The story is splendid and the protagonists hilarious! The clashes between classes are very clear and Ritas search for a new life, a new identity feels very real.
I don't even know why, but I hate this book. I hate it so much. Rita is so incredibly shallow and flat and her changes come and go like nothing and it's just incredibly fake. I didn't mind Frank as much but still...this has annoyed me an incredibly large amount. grr.
That the play is much more conscise that the film that was made later, and set only in Frank's study. At first I could only imagine it with Julie Walters playing Rita, but gradually concentrated more on the words and less on my memories of the film.
Read for school
My favourite play. Wonderful two-hander that never feels claustrophobic. Rita transforms herself through English Literature, aided by Frank, a drunk, disappointed lecturer. Funny and sad.
Fantastic in the beginning, somewhat less fantastic, but still quite good, in the middle, and rather disappointing in the end. Still, a fun read and an entertaining play.
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William Russell is a British dramatist, lyricist, and composer. His best-known works are Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine, and Blood Brothers.

Willy Russell was born in Whiston, on the outskirts of Liverpool, where he grew up. His parents worked in a book publisher's and often encouraged him to read. After leaving school with one O-level in English, he first became a ladies' hairdresser and ran hi...more
More about Willy Russell...
Blood Brothers The Wrong Boy Shirley Valentine Our Day Out (Heinemann Plays) Stags and Hens

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“FRANK: Do you know Yeats?
RITA: The wine lodge?
FRANK: No, WB Yeats, the poet.
FRANK: Well, in his poem 'The Wild Swans At Coole',Yeats rhymes the word "swan" with the word "stone". You see? That's an example of assonance.
RITA: Yeah, means getting the rhyme wrong.”
“Într-o noapte m-am întors acasă, şi Trish, care credeam că-i atât de echilibrată emoţional, tocmai încercase să se spânzure. Magic, nu? Şi-a pierdut jumătate din viaţă mâncând produse dietetice să nu-şi strice ficatul, iar cealalaltă jumătate încercând să se sinucidă.” 1 likes
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