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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 7 November 2001
I am a great admirer of Willy Russels work in general but this has to be his best play of all time. Educating Rita consists of only two characters throughout, Frank and Rita. We follow through the life of the characters from somewhat comic moments to the utter tragic. Willy Russel has a fantastic grasp on the society of the time and prooves that knowledge can be a strong tool. Knowing everthing does not make your life better but having the ability to decide for yourself "with confidence and knowledge" enables you to control your fate in someway no matter how small.
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on 16 June 2013
It may be of its time (when the new Thatcher era was born) and certainly tackles some of the class and gender issues of its time - which are in some cases, no longer current - and it is also very much of its place (Liverpool) but the comedy and compassion for the characters has not aged or become any less universal. It is well-timed, funny and very moving.
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on 9 February 2014
The play only takes up half of this copy - the other half is notes. I used this copy for A level English Literature and found it extremely helpful.
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on 14 February 2014
I had to read this as part of my AS English coursework and didn't really expect it to be any good. Some people in my class found it really boring but I thought it was a good read and made a change from the normal teen books I read.
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on 21 April 2015
This is a moving book, for anyone looking to improve their education, that can lead to work... plant the seed for the path to further education, But I would recommend that you/him or her would also study Educating Rita York notes for GCSE willy Russell both these books are in paperback and kindle version that I bought though Amazon.
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on 7 May 2015
A play with only two persons and only one location? Boring, unless they had sex, occasionally. Or so one might think. Willy Russell quickly convinces us he knows what he is doing. Two people from very different social backgrounds meet in a teacher-student relationship. Meet Frank, the professor, always boozing, and Rita, hairdresser and eager to learn. Her slang and vulgar language may be off-putting at first and is certainly no choice as a language model for the purist teacher, but there is so much warmth and strength in her you can’t help empathise and overlook her deficiencies in speech. If a teacher wants to give his students samples of the varieties of English to speak, this play is a top favourite. It is a joy to watch Rita evolve and become a mature, educated woman. There is less pleasure watching Frank, whom Russell depicts as a rather weak man, hiding behind academia. There are a number of characters mentioned indirectly, but they never appear on stage. I would have liked to see Denny, the husband, throw a tumbler at Frank. Russell, however, sticks to his concept, and in hindsight it proves a good decision. Altogether it is a moving play and will be remembered for a long time.
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This cheerful little story is a modern day version of Shaw's 'Pygmalion'. Originally it was a play.

Rita, a Liverpool lady in a working-class area, is determined to make something of herself and find out more about English literature. She enrols as a mature student and her tutor, a habitual drinker who's washed up, finds her refreshingly interesting compared to the usual kids in his lectures.

Rita's husband isn't sold on this new fancy stuff, and wants her to start having babies like all the other women. The tutor enjoys awakening Rita's enquiring mind to all the world of poetry, plays and prose. His enjoyment is spoiled when he realises that Rita has grown past the lectures he gives and can find out more from summer schools and her own classmates. The story is not a complete romance but ends on a note of change.

This was beautifully filmed in Dublin, with Trinity College and the rooms of the Literary and Historical Society featuring as well as night spots around the city.
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on 26 September 2012
Bought this version for my daughter - beware, it has been revised and updated and has sections of text and stage directions that are either different or missing, which is only made clear inside the book when you start to read it. This makes it difficult to use it for its purpose as a text to analyse in English. We will now need to buy the 'correct' version.

EDIT: This review has been posted by Amazon to the wrong book, it refers to the Methuen Modern Classics bright pink cover version ISBN 978-0-413-76790-5
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on 6 November 2013
Prospective purchasers should note that this is Russell's 2003 revised edition of the play. Ostensibly aiming to remove references to the 1970s in an attempt to 'universalize' the play, Russell has managed to dilute and, to my mind, ultimately destroy its original and essential drily witty tone. Where the humour was subtle and pointed, it is now overt and blunt: no longer funny. To get the full impact of this great play, make sure you buy the original (1986) version - if you can find it.
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on 26 November 2009
I bought this book as I chose to do a monologue taken from this for a drama assessment. I was already familiar with the original script and, of course, the Michael Caine/Julie Walters movie version. This book is useful for the age group it is aimed at and may possibly be suitable for older students studying 'Educating Rita' or for people who just want to gain a deeper understanding and insight into, and behind, the play itself, i.e actors who are starring in a production of the play. At the start of each scene, there are questions relevant to each sequence in order to encourage you to read the play from a deeper angle, i.e. rather than just reading the script and forming an opinion of the play, it makes you look at the metaphors that Willy Russell used as he was writing the script, for example in the scene where Rita tells Frank why she didn't attend the dinner party at his house.
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