‘Educating Rita’ at Prospect Playhouse

After the magic of “A Playhouse Family Christmas,” the stage has been set – literally – for the Cayman Drama Society’s next production.

“Educating Rita,” a comedy by acclaimed playwright Willy Russell from Liverpool in the U.K., starts on Jan. 24 and runs for two weekends only. Since its premiere in 1980, the play has enjoyed great success and has been adapted for screen and radio, including the famous film version starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters.

The play follows the relationship between 26-year-old Susan from Liverpool, who calls herself Rita, a working-class hairdresser, and Frank, a middle-aged university lecturer.

Frank is an alcoholic and career academic who has a jaundiced and cynical view of the world, especially academia. He is immediately bowled over by Rita’s enthusiasm and down-to-earth attitudes and speech, while she has a great appetite for learning and self-improvement.

Rita responds to Frank’s unorthodox style and they become close through the course of a year, during which time the student eventually becomes the teacher.

The play deals with the concepts of freedom, change, England’s class system, the shortcomings of institutional education, jealousy and the nature of self-development and personal relationships.

It is a story involving only two characters, with Soraya Moghadass playing Rita, and Adam Roberts taking on the part of Frank. The play is directed by Fay Anne de Freitas. All three are familiar faces around the Prospect Playhouse and the Cayman drama scene, although this is Fay Anne’s directorial debut.

Paul Njoka will be assisting Fay Anne as an advisor, which sees the two reunited after they worked together on “Barefoot in the Park” in 2018.

Soraya has most recently been seen in “Not Now, Darling” and “The Vagina Monologues,” while Adam played the part of Otto Frank in the drama society’s sold-out adaptation of the “Diary of Anne Frank.” It is also a reunion for Adam and Fay Anne, having previously played husband and wife in “Yes, Minister.”

The production has Liam Oko as producer for the first time, although he is a familiar face on the Playhouse stage himself.

The play runs for seven shows from Jan. 24 to Feb 3. Tickets can be purchased at www.cds.ky.

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