Educating Rita at Trafalgar Studios

Much to the dismay of her husband Denny, Rita, a young, brash hairdresser, has recently discovered a passion for English literature and enrols with the Open University. Her fresh, unschooled reaction to the classics challenges the attitudes of the University and her lecturer Frank who begins to question his own understanding of his work and himself.

Commissioned by the RSC, Willy Russell’s Educating Rita was first performed at The Warehouse, London, in June 1980 and later transferred to the Piccadilly Theatre. The production starred Julie Walters and Mark Kingston and won the Society of West End Theatres award for Best Comedy. Julie Walters went on to play Rita in the BAFTA award winning film version with Michael Caine as Frank. Both received BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards and Oscar nominations for their performances.

This production stars Tim Pigott-Smith and Laura Dos Santos.

Willy Russell Season West End Transfer

The Menier Chocolate Factory’s sell-out season of Willy Russell’s award winning plays Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine transfers to the Trafalgar Studios from the 8th of July!

Educating Rita stars the Olivier Award nominated Tim Pigott-Smith  (Enron, Pygmalion)  as university professor Frank, and newcomer Laura Dos Santos as the brash young hairdresser who discovers a passion for English literature, in a production that is ‘Superb, humorous and deeply moving. A truly great play.’ (Daily Telegraph)

Shirley Valentine stars Meera Syal (Goodness Gracious Me, The Kumars at No. 42) in ‘London’s Best Comic Performance’ (Time Out) as the Liverpudlian housewife who talks to the wall whilst preparing her husband’s egg and chips. She’s in a rut. What has happened to her life? When her best friend wins an all-expenses-paid vacation for two to Greece she packs her bags, heads for the sun and starts to see the world and herself rather differently…