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‘Educating Rita’ shows how a comedy can raise serious issues. Discuss

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  • Essay length: 3013 words
  • Submitted: 11/07/2002
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GCSE Educating Rita

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Catherine Little

'Educating Rita' shows how a comedy can raise serious issues. Discuss

'Educating Rita' was voted best comedy of the year when performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1980 and by 1983 it had risen to be the fourth most popular play on the British stage. Russell uses humour as a tool to engage and entertain his audience whilst at the same time dealing with serious topics. Without the humour, the play would be less accessible and would probably have reached a much more limited and elitist audience.

The play is naturalistic with a fixed and simple staging, which firmly reflects the real world. The entire play is set in one study room in a red brick university. The room is Frank's environment - cluttered with books representing both the world of knowledge and the disordered state of Frank's mind and life. It is a far cry from the world to which Rita is used, but one to which she aspires in her quest to 'find herself'. By contrast Frank is disillusioned with his life as an academic and the audience quickly gathers the impression that Frank would escape from his world if only he

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