Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Willy Russell's Educating Rita. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Educating Rita: Introduction
Educating Rita: Plot Summary
Educating Rita: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Educating Rita: Themes
Educating Rita: Quotes
Educating Rita: Characters
Educating Rita: Symbols
Educating Rita: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Willy Russell
Historical Context of Educating Rita
Other Books Related to Educating Rita
- Full Title: Educating Rita
- When Published: Educating Rita premiered on June 10th, 1980
- Literary Period: Postmodernism
- Genre: Realist Theater
- Setting: A prestigious university in England
- Climax: After Rita tells Frank his poetry is amazing, he rips his two books to shreds and tells her to go away—a statement that encourages Rita to call him a “Self-Pitying Piss-Artist” and storm out of his office.
- Antagonist: There is no discernible antagonist in Educating Rita, though it’s worth noting that Frank’s disenchantment as an alcoholic poet and scholar causes trouble not only for him, but for Rita and his other students, too.
Extra Credit for Educating Rita
The Big Screen. In 1983, Lewis Gilbert (who directed several James Bond movies) directed a screen adaptation of Educating Rita. The film starred Michael Caine (from the Batman films) and Julie Walters (who played Molly Weasely in the Harry Potter films). Willy Russell wrote the screenplay.
On the Radio. In addition to turning Educating Rita into a movie, Russell also adapted the play for the radio, possibly pointing to Rita’s witty line, “Do it on the radio.”. The program aired on BBC Radio 4 in 2009.