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Educating Rita- How Does Russell Make The Opening Dramatic and Entertaining?

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English Coursework Educating Rita- How Does Russell Make The Opening Dramatic and Entertaining? For the opening of educating Rita, Russell needs to entertain and interest his audience, however, he also needs to quickly introduce his characters: Frank, a university teacher in his early fifties, bored with his life and Rita, a badly educated hairdresser with a thirst for knowledge. Russell begins "Educating Rita" with Frank searching frantically in his bookcase, muttering the names of famous authors under his breath as he searches for what the audience imagines to be a book. However, to our surprise, Frank jubilantly pulls out a bottle of Whisky and pours himself a drink. This tells us that Frank, perhaps has a drinking problem. Russell then uses the interesting medium of a one sided telephone conversation between Frank and his partner Julia. This entertains the audience as they are wondering what the person on the other end of the line is saying. We become more accustomed to Frank's character. The telephone conversation is also humorous : "Darling, you could incinerate ratatouille and still it wouldn't burn" and " What do you mean am I determined to go to pub? I don't need determination to get me into a pub". Frank clearly isn't hiding the fact that he drinks a lot.(shows its been going on for a while as Julia knows). ...read more.


He immediately tries to regain his position of authority " You are?", this is a very upper class phrase and Rita, unused to such language takes this phrase literally, "What am I?" Frank gets confused and so it continues until Frank gives up and studies the admission papers. This confusion is funny and we see that it is useless for Frank to try to gain any authority over Rita since she is at the college because she wants to be and wants to do things in her own way. There is a lot of this kind of humour all through the play, which really confuses Frank. She is also humorous because she makes a lot of mistakes. Rita is a ladies' hairdresser from a working class area of Liverpool. She is very quick and witty. This makes her very likeable as a character and as she has had a hard life she is very determined. At the start of the play, Rita bursts onto the stage. This is to make it seem as though she is bursting into Frank's life. It is also to make her character seem lively from the start. Rita also has a strange sense of humour. She tries to make a joke of everyday things. Frank doesn't understand most of her jokes:- Rita Y'know Frank, Frank Ness, Elliot's Brother. ...read more.


Towards the end of the scene Frank threatens to find Rita another tutor. "I'm sorry there are other tutors, I'll sort it for you". Rita clearly likes Frank and tries to convince him otherwise, " Wait a minute, listen to me. I'm on this course, you are my teacher and you are going to "bleedin" well teach me"(She uses the slang term bleedin, again showing the difference in classes between the two. She is very adamant then Frank say's "For Gods sake woman I've told you" (He becomes very aggravated). Frank getting aggravated as he did shoes he has a short temper which is quite funny for someone of his "upper class" nature. The stereotyping of higher class people is that they are respectable and never lose their temper, this gets the point across that Frank isn't like other educated and upper class people. To write a play with two main characters such as Educating Rita is a very hard challenge, in my opinion Russel pulled it of extremely well! Russell makes his opening interesting and entertaining with comedy. The audience is eager to see more and has a good idea of Frank and Rita's characters. Straight away you know about Frank and Rita, the use of the phone call, the broken door, and Franks alcoholism all help to make the scene incredibly entertaining and dramatic. The scene sets the tempo for the rest of the play. ...read more.

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