Claire Sweeney and Matthew Kelly In Educating Rita at the Menier Chocolate Factory

Claire Sweeney
Monday, 6th Feb 2012  

A Revival of Willy Russell’s Acclaimed Play Landing at the London theatre in April as Part of a UK National Tour

The Menier Chocolate Factory is no stranger to the work of Willy Russell having been the home of a double bill of his work back in 2010, one of which was “Educating Rita”, though audiences will once again have an opportunity to check out his work in 2012. A new production of “Educating Rita” is set to land at the venue in April as part of a UK national tour and in doing so it can boast cast members such as Claire Sweeney and Matthew Kelly.

“Educating Rita” is the well known story of Rita, an overbearing Liverpudlian hairdresser, who enrols on an English course with the Open University. This pairs her up with the lecturer Frank and his opinion of the world is challenged by her unique views on some classic texts. During the course of the play we witness their interactions and the way in which their relationship develops over time.

The play first appeared in the 1980s and is one of many well known works from Russell, whose “Blood Brothers” continues to attract audiences at the Phoenix Theatre in the West End. The production was also adapted into a movie starring Michael Caine.

Matthew Kelly is well used to appearing in London theatre productions and as a result audiences may recognise him from the likes of “Waiting for Godot” at the Haymarket Theatre, “Comedians” at the Lyric Hammersmith and “Of Mice and Men” at the Savoy Theatre. He is, of course, best known around the country for television shows like “Stars in their Eyes” and “You Bet!”

Claire Sweeney, meanwhile, is best known for her portrayal of Lindsey Corkhill on “Brookside”, though she has also appeared in numerous other shows over the years, from “Loose Women” and “Strictly Come Dancing” to “Celebrity Big Brother”. She hs also appeared in west end shows like “Chicago” at the Cambridge Theatre an “Guys and Dolls” at the Piccadilly Theatre.

“Educating Rita” is at the Menier Chocolate Factory from Wednesday 25th April 2012 to Saturday 12th May 2012.