It was all Rita on the night

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  • Educating Rita
  • Star of the Sea Centre, Lytham St Annes
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This celebrated Willy Russell tragi-comedy follows the journey of Rita, a young hairdresser taking an Open University course to better herself and Frank, her tutor, who is using drink increasingly as an escape from his own life.

It follows how their relationship changes over the course of an academic year.

Centre Stage Theatre Company has chosen just the right venue for this intimate two-hander.

It allows the audience to really feel a connection with the actors and enables them to see facial expressions clearly and to hear everything said on stage, wherever the actors are.

The company are fortunate to have two talented actors in the lead roles.

Don Green as Frank is thoughtful and subtle and at first sits back and lets Rita tell him all about her life and unusual views on the literature she studies.

In the second half, he shows us with great skill, how his life is not perfect as his drinking finally takes its toll on his work and personal life and we see how much Rita really means to him.

Claire Gaskell makes an excellent Rita.

Hardly ever off the stage, Claire portrays Rita from a nervous, unsure young girl who can barely keep still in the stilted confines of Frank’s office to a confident student free from the confines of her previous life.

Lynda Clarkson’s direction keeps the pace moving and the small set is well decorated and lit.

Pauline Hardie