Derby Theatre and Octagon Theatre Bolton present a production of Educating Rita, which can be seen at Derby Theatre from February 17-March 11.
Willy Russell’s iconic play is an uplifting story of self-discovery through which we witness how the power of choice comes through education.
Frank has almost given up completely. Given up on his ambition to be a poet and disillusioned with teaching undergraduate English students, he reflects melancholically on his life. That is, until Rita walks in. A 26 year old, married hairdresser, Rita has decided to take control of her life and earn herself an education.
With Rita’s tenacious honesty and Frank’s deep intellect, they inspire each other to wake up to life in their own way. A cast of two talented actors will bring this inspirational and humorous story to life.
David Birrell will play Frank, a middle-aged English Literature university lecturer who likes a drink. David is an award-winning actor, who won a Manchester Theatre Award for his role as Peter Stockmann in Enemy of the People and a Manchester Theatre Award for his role of Osborne in Journey’s End, both for the Octagon Theatre. David’s other credits include The War Has Not Yet Started at the Drum Theatre (2016) and The Death of King Arthur at Sam Wanamaker Theatre (2015).
For TV, David has appeared in The Royal, Midsomer Murders and Coronation Street.
Jessica Baglow will play the iconic role of fiery Rita. Jessica has recently received an Ian Charleson Award commendation for her performance as Marina in Pericles at the Globe Theatre (2015) and was awarded a Manchester Theatre Award for her role as Poppy in the ensemble of Noises Off (Octagon Theatre Bolton, 2015).
Jessica has also recently performed in The Winter’s Tale at the Globe Theatre (2015) and in The Family Way at the Octagon (2015). For TV, Jessica has appeared in Waterloo Road, Emmerdale and Holby City.
Elizabeth Newman, director of Educating Rita, said: “Educating Rita is an important story that needs to be told now. Willy Russell’s uplifting masterpiece champions the idea that, as people, we can find freedom through education and therefore gain choice in your life.
“It feels vital in 2016/17 that we share these ideas and celebrate curiosity with our audiences. This is a play that I feel very passionately about and it’s a huge privilege to be able to bring it to life in Bolton and in Derby. We are very excited to be working with Derby Theatre again.”
Tickets are £9.50 - £26.50. For more information and to book tickets call the box office on 01332 593939 or online at www.derbytheatre.co.uk
Photos by Richard Davenport/The Other Richard