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Educating Rita – 2007

ritaHIT Productions presents
Educating Rita
by Willy Russell

Director: Jennifer Hagan
Designer: Jamie Clennett
Lighting Designer: Glenn Hughes
Cast: Lisa Chappell, David Downer

We were luck enough to attend Educating Rita in Sydney, Lisa’s performance was brilliant!

It’s a long way from McLeod’s Daughters to Educating Rita, but logie-winning actor Lisa Chappell has revealed she has more in common with her current character, who Brisbane theatre lovers will get the chance to see at QUT Gardens Theatre on September 7-8.

Chappell is currently playing the title character in Willy Russell’s witty play, Educating Rita, and has said that both actor and character share a thirst for knowledge, with a slight twist.

“We both took a while to realise we needed to educate ourselves,”Chappell said, pointing out the fact that she didn’t begin formal training to become an actor until she was thirty.

“However, the difference is that Rita’s is a thirst for external knowledge about the world, whereas mine is selfknowledge”, Chappell said.

As the story goes, Rita is a working-class hairdresser from Liverpool – Chappell has mastered the accent perfectly, saying it just “came to her” – who is brash, funny, and a bit naïve.

Frank (David Downer, All Saints), is a cynical, burnt out English professor, who drinks far too much whiskey and is ingrained in the archaic academic circle he’s enjoyed for so long.

The two very different worlds collide when Rita, in a desperate bid to escape her predictable and thankless future, signs up for an English literature course taught by Frank.

Frank soon discovers that Rita has a lot more common sense than the so-called educated class within which he moves. He begins to fall in love with Rita for her zest for life, her almost childlike qualities and her simple, natural intelligence.

Written by Willy Russell, the playwright behind the ever-popular Shirley Valentine, Educating Rita is an innately charming comedy about happiness versus success. The play was made into a popular movie in 1984 starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters.


The Homecoming – 2007

Cast – David Aston / Eddie Campbell / Lisa Chappell / Ross Duncan / Michael Lawrence / Sam Walsh
Director – Direction Paul Gittins
Design – John Parker
Writer –  Harold Pinter

Story – Max, a retired butcher, is the patriarch of his all male, testosterone charged household. One night, his eldest son arrives home unexpectedly, bringing with him a wife the family never knew existed. Appallingly funny, scintillatingly shocking and morally perverse, the events that follow have continued to leave audiences across the world with gaping jaws and white knuckles.

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