Lenny Henry Lashana Lynch

Educating Rita

by Willy Russell

Minerva Theatre
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But if you wanna change y’ have to do it from the inside, don’t y’?

World-weary lecturer, Frank, has never met anyone like plain-speaking hairdresser Rita - until the Open University brings them together.

Frank knows plenty. He can tell Rita that Yeats isn’t only a wine lodge, and that there’s a difference between Jane Austen and Ethel Austin. He can explain in detail why Chekhov is a comic genius.

But he doesn’t know that learning can be dangerous and addictive. As Rita grows in confidence and ability, Frank begins to fear that her desire for academic knowledge might bury the fascinating, fresh woman who has brought him back to life.

Willy Russell’s comic masterpiece has entertained audiences around the globe since it premièred in 1980, and went on to become an award-winning film.

Michael Buffong is the acclaimed Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company, where his recent work includes All My Sons and Moon on a Rainbow Shawl.

Lenny Henry
makes his Chichester debut as Frank. His theatre credits include The Comedy of Errors at the National Theatre and award-winning performances in West End productions of Fences and Othello. Also making her Chichester debut is Lashana Lynch playing Rita. Her recent credits include Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet at the National Theatre’s The Shed.

Listen to Michael Buffong in conversation with Lisa Makin about the production.

Cast & Creatives


Cast List

Lenny Henry


Lashana Lynch


Creative team

Cast List

Willy Russell


Michael Buffong


Ellen Cairns


Johanna Town

Lighting Designer

Jack C. Arnold

Sound Designer

Charmian Hoare

Voice and Dialect Coach



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