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Educating Rita, rehearsals at Live Theatre

Live Theatre is delighted to announce that we will be hosting rehearsals for the acclaimed 40th anniversary production of Willy Russell's celebrated comedy Educating Rita between 10-15 August. The production was on a UK tour when the Government closed theatres bak in March 2020 due to Covid-19. With indoor venues still unable to open, following rehearsals, the play will go on to be performed in an outdoor setting at the famous Minack Theatre. overlooking the sea in Cornwall.

The play is directed by Max Roberts, Emeritus Director of Live Theatre and stars Stephen Tompkinson as disillusioned lecturer Frank and North East based actor Jessica Johnson as hairdresser and Open University student Rita. The 1983 film version of Educating Rita starred Julie Walters and Michael Caine.

Max Roberts said: "It is thrilling to once again welcome actors back to Live Theatre. The lockdown sadly forced the cancellation of much of our 2020 season of Live Theatre shows. These rehearsals which will obey social distancing and sanitizing protocols are a first but very welcome step towards re-opening the theatre. Cornwall's Minack Theatre, situated on the cliff tops of Porthcurno Bay provides a spectacular and atmospheric backdrop for live theatre and I'm looking forward to seeing Educating Rita playing there. Meanwhile back in Newcastle, Live Theatre has a fantastic programme of new work in development which initially will be presented across digital platforms from the Autumn."

Two of Live Theatre's technical team are also involved in the piece with lighting design by Drummond Orr and sound design by David Flynn.

We will make an announcement very soon on the programme for Autumn 2020 onwards, so watch this space!

  • Arts Council England
  • Community Foundation
  • European Regional Development Fund


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