Derby's Big Adventures Theatre Company stages Educating Rita at Robert Ludlam Theatre
BIG Adventures Theatre Company presents another contemporary classic comedy next week with the staging of Willy Russell's well-loved Educating Rita.
The drama portrays a working-class woman's hunger for education as Rita signs up to become a mature student at her local university.
It is a witty and often painfully funny account of a Liverpool hairdresser, full of life, and a drunken lecturer, weary of life, with nothing in common but a shared love of literature.
A modern-day Pygmalion, Educating Rita was made famous 30 years ago when it was made into a screenplay starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine in the lead roles and it remains a powerful and funny social commentary that is still as popular as ever.
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As Big Adventures Theatre Company – which is based at St Benedict School in Darley Abbey – swings into its 16th year producing professional theatre in Derby, director Dave Culling explains his reasons for choosing this piece.
"Willy Russell's writing is always witty and amusing, but in this piece we feel he's dealing with a range of deeper themes – the changing attitudes of and towards women in a certain time period, the loss of youth and opportunity and, most importantly, the value (or otherwise) of 'education'," he says.
"Being based in a school means we get to look at a lot of these issues on a daily basis and so it seemed an apt production for Big Adventures to tackle."
WHAT: Educating Rita
WHERE: Robert Ludlam Theatre, Duffield Road, Derby
WHEN: March 6-9
ADMISSION: £9, with concessions £8
TICKETS: Available from the box office, 0844 870 0887 or online at www.robertludlamtheatre.com