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Tag Archives: Willy Russell

Educating Rita – Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

Writer: Willy Russell Director: Max Roberts Set and Costumes: Patrick Connellan Lighting Design: Drummond Orr Sound Design: David Flynn Reviewer: Janet Jepson Willy Russell is rightly famous for his strong female characters, usually arising from his tough working-class upbringing in Liverpool in the fifties. Born to a father who worked in a factory and a mother who went from nursing ...

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Educating Rita – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Writer: Willy Russell Director: Max Roberts Designer: Patrick Connellan Reviewer: Ron Simpson Educating Rita, now nearly 40 years old, is one of those plays that carries its production in its DNA. The director has few decisions about style, setting and characterization to make, only the difficult problem of how to convey warmly, convincingly and often humorously a changing relationship in ...

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Educating Rita – Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

Writer: Willy Russell Director: Max Roberts Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Frank is a bitter failed poet and university lecturer. His life is spiralling downwards as his drinking threatens to get out of control. Indeed, in order to finance his drinking, he says, he signs up as a tutor with the Open University and is allocated Susan – or Rita as she ...

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Educating Rita – Theatre Royal, Norwich

Writer: Willy Russell Director: Max Roberts Reviewer: Lu Greer It has been almost forty years since Willy Russell released Educating Rita, and the world was introduced to Rita a working-class Liverpudlian and Frank her alcoholic Open University tutor. The story of Rita, sick of the banal chit chat of the salon she works in enrolling on a literature course only ...

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Educating Rita – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Willy Russell   Director: Max Roberts   Reviewer: Jay Nuttall Willy Russell’s 1980 stage play might well be remembered fondly by the nation when adapted into film in 1983 starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters, but this new touring production proves that Educating Rita has stood the test of time for the last forty years and will continue to ...

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Blood Brothers – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Willy Russell Director: Bob Tomson & Bill Kenwright Reviewer: Matt Forrest It’s hard to believe that Blood Brothers just celebrated its 36th year, if anything, it feels older purely because the affection with which it is held. It’s certainly an institution of the theatre circuit and there’s no question why: this is a timeless, heart-breaking tale, of love, class and ...

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Educating Rita – The Dukes, Lancaster

Writer: Willy Russell Director: Sarah Punshon Reviewer: Katherine Kirwin This well-loved, well-known dramatic comedy takes place entirely within the offices of an English Literature professor, Frank, at an unnamed university as he meets with his first Open University student, Rita,  a Scouse working-class hairdresser seeking to know ‘everything’. Willy Russell’s play is known by many from the 1983 film starring ...

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Shirley Valentine – New Theatre, Cardiff

Jodie Prenger as Shirley Valentine

Writer: Willy Russell Director: Glen Walford Reviewer: Barbara Michaels Holiday time is here, and with it come thoughts of jetting off to exotic climes, sunshine and wine, with maybe a touch of romance thrown in.  How timely, then, is a revival of Shirley Valentine, Willy Russell’s enduringly popular 1986 rom-com.  First written as a one-act play, it was presented on ...

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