Following the sold out run at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall last month, the 40th anniversary production of Willy Russell's Educating Rita has announced new dates next month where it will be reopening two indoor theatres.
Award winning producer David Pugh put a call out on Twitter last month asking for any venues would like to host social distanced performances of Educating Rita. While offers of peoples living rooms may not be on the tour, the next two venues have been confirmed in Kingston and Shrewsbury.
The production will play at the Rose Theatre in Kingston from October 28th to November 14th followed by a week at Shrewsbury Theatre Severn from November 17th - 21st. Many more dates and venues will be confirmed in the near future with the plan being for Educating Rita to help reopen indoor theatres that have been closed for over six months now.
The production is directed by Max Roberts and stars Stephen Tompkinson as Frabk and Jessica Johnson as Rita. The show was on a UK tour when theatres closed in March but wasted no time in resuming the production in Cornwall as soon as they got the go ahead.
It tells the story of married hairdresser Rita, who enrols on an Open University course to expand her horizons, and her encounters with university tutor Frank. Frank is a frustrated poet, brilliant academic and dedicated drinker, who is less than enthusiastic about teaching Rita. However, Frank soon finds that his passion for literature is reignited by Rita, whose technical ability for the subject is limited by her lack of education, but whose enthusiasm Frank finds refreshing. The two soon realise how much they have to learn from each other.
David Pugh said: “Rita herself is a class act. She has always embraced change and so now, with social distancing - if you've got a closed theatre, she'll reopen it - we are delighted we’re reopening the historic Rose Theatre, Kingston.”
It's great to see indoor theatre returning and a show like this helping out can only be good news. I'll be making a trip to Kingston to check it out myself!