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DescriptionEat & DrinkLibrary Theatre

The Library Theatre Company

Educating Rita

By Willy Russell. Directed by Chris Honer.

Thu 26 September - Sat 12 October

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Educating Rita

“That’s why they come to the hairdressers – because they want to be changed. But if you wanna change y’ have to do it from the inside, don’t y?”

Educating Rita, Willy Russell’s intimate comedy with big ideas and an even bigger heart, is a gem of British theatre. Inspired by Russell’s own experiences of returning to education, this multi-award-winning comedy returns to Manchester for the first time in over twenty years.

Brash, straight-talking hairdresser Rita is determined to change her life. She wants to know ‘everything’ and she thinks the Open University might just be the answer. World-weary, alcohol-fuelled lecturer Frank is a failed poet, a self-acknowledged ‘appalling teacher of appalling students’. In fact, he’s just about given up. In need of extra cash, he agrees to tutor Rita, totally unaware of the whirlwind that’s about to enter his world…

The unlikely pair form a life-changing bond as Rita starts to find herself, and Frank finds a whole new lease of life. Touching, life-affirming and very, very funny, Educating Rita is a comic masterpiece from one of our best-loved writers.

Contains some strong language and smoking.

Gillian Kearney (Rita) is best known for playing Jessica Harrison in Casualty and her leading roles in Shameless and Brookside. The pick of many stage credits might be her performance as the titular character in Hedda Gabler (2006) at Liverpool Playhouse

Philip Bretherton (Frank) played George in Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (2007) at the Royal Exchange Theatre and will be familiar as Alistair Deacon to fans of the long running BBC sitcom As Time Goes By.

‘Still as funny, clever and heart-warming as ever.’ The Scotsman

Listen: Designer Judith Croft talks about her work on the production

Read: Director Chris Honer's blog

Listen: Gillian Kearney talks about playing Rita

Watch: The changing clothes of Rita

Read: Five reasons to see Educating Rita

Schools price: £11 & 1 in 10 free. Excludes previews.

Captioned performance
Wed 2 October 7.15pm
Find out how to book here.

Audio Described Performance
Thu 3 October, 7.15pm
Find out how to book here.

Signed performance
Fri 4 October, 7.15pm
Find out how to book here.



The Lowry is a private limited company registered in England and Wales (no. 3255905) and a registered charity (no. 1053962).