The final Mermaids play of On the Rocks will be a production of Educating Rita, going up in the Barron Theatre at 7pm on the 9th and 10th April. The play follows the relationship between a Liverpudlian hairdresser and her alcoholic Open University Literature professor, Educating Rita is an endearing comedy which offers a scathing criticism of the class system, institutional education, and of pervasive notions of gender and liberty.
Starring Ellie Burke and Henry Roberts, the play is sure to be a well put together piece of drama.
Director Ryan Hay offers his view of his small but effective production team and cast:
“My team are wonderful – Hanna [Lawson] has been incredibly organised and always helpful and cheerful. My cast have, from the word go, been open to doing any weird exercises I set them, to doing research tasks, and to complying with my immersive acting method – and for that I am very thankful of them. Rosie [Ainsworth], our stage manager, came along to auditions because she loves ‘Educating Rita’ so much, and we just had to take her onto the team – it’s great to see people so passionate about the piece!”
As always, theatre can be incredibly rewarding but also incredibly fun. Hay explains:
“My favourite part of the process is work-shopping character with a cast – creating that strange sexual dynamic between Frank and Susan will be very interesting, and especially seeing how the cast navigate the text differently after it has been established.”
For a small univerisy town, Educating Rita is particuallry relevant with its emphasis on university culture:
“I think our play presents a really interesting criticism of university culture, which is something that really is all pervasive in this town. What is the value of the airs and graces that we gather through a formal education? We could all learn something, I think, from the two kinds of education that happen in this play.”
Hay hopes that audiences will gain a rewarding experience from seeing his play:
“I think we can all learn from Educating Rita something about the profound change that can happen when we open our minds to people from other walks of life. The play will make audiences laugh and cry, but I hope that people go away feeling that they have the power to change their lives.”
Tickets are available from the Byre Theatre website for £5- this is not a play to be missed!