How successful is Willy Russell in Using the Character of Rita to Draw Attention to the Play? Essay

2817 WordsApr 27, 200912 Pages
Educating Rita is a play set in a university in northern England in 1985. The play is set at the same time as it was written. Willy Russell, the author, was born in Whiston, a smaller town just outside of the main city, Liverpool. Russell didn’t care much for school, on one account he mentions his headmaster showing him a shrapnel wound he had received in the war, ‘Other than reading books, gardening, playing football and looking at shrapnel wounds I didn’t care much for school.’ Russell portrays his life experiences in Rita, one of the two characters in the play. Rita is Liverpudlian and, as Russell experienced she didn’t try much in school, he expresses her feeling thus; ‘But studyin’ was for wimps wasn’t it? See if I’d started taking school seriously I would have become different from me mates, an’ that’s not allowed.’ You can see by this that Rita did not try very much in school as she tried her best to fit in. I will explore this further later in the essay. This play is different to many that you may see; it consists of just two characters, Rita and Frank, her Open University teacher. There is also just the one set, Frank’s book lined study. Once again, I will explore this in more detail later on. Firstly I would like to express my thoughts on Rita’s entrances to the study. Russell has been wise by making the entrances to the study occur at the beginning of every scene. Scene One begins with Frank on the telephone to his partner, Julia, he finishes talking to her after Rita has knocked on the door and tried to get in. He carries on ‘Come In! Come in!’, This first entrance will be explored more later in the Essay. For example at the beginning of scene two; ‘Rita is standing in the doorway, holding a small can of oil.’ This adds to the comedy factor in the play. Opening a door to find someone kneeling down with an oil can is not the most common of ways to
Open Document