The 40th anniversary U.K. tour of Willy Russell's Educating Rita, which was suspended in March due to the pandemic, will resume October 28–November 14 at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, with socially distanced performances.
The production, directed by Max Roberts, stars Jessica Johnson (Call Me Mary Poppins, Kings and Queens, Wire in the Blood) as Rita and Stephen Tompkinson (Spamalot, Art, Torvill & Dean) as Frank. The Rose Theatre engagement will be followed by a week at Shrewsbury Theatre Severn in November, with more dates to be announced.
In a statement producer David Pugh said, “Rita herself is a class act. She has always embraced change and so now, with social distancing—if you've got a closed theatre, she'll reopen it—we are delighted we’re reopening the historic Rose Theatre, Kingston.”
Educating Rita was originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and played London's Warehouse Theatre in 1980 with Julie Walters and Mark Kingston. Walters reprised her role in the 1983 film opposite Michael Caine (both earned Oscar nominations).
The tour has set and costume designs by Patrick Connellan, lighting design by Drummond Orr, and sound design by David Flynn.
Educating Rita is produced by Pugh and is a Theatre by the Lake production. Visit EducatingRita.co.uk.