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How Does 'Educating Rita' By 'Willy Russell' Relate To The Social, Historical And Cultural Context Of Britain In The Late 1970's? Does This Make Good Drama?

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Introduction

How Does 'Educating Rita' By 'Willy Russell' Relate To The Social, Historical And Cultural Context Of Britain In The Late 1970's? Does This Make Good Drama? 'Educating Rita' by 'Willy Russell relates to the social, historical and cultural context of Britain in the late 1970's throughout the play and this extremely strong and believable reference to these three subjects contribute to a good piece of drama. 'Willy Russell' makes these references in everything, from the smallest detail, Rita's hair colour to the extreme stereotyping of each of the two classes. These experiences are based on 'Russell's' own life and the character of 'Rita' is a mirror of him, because of this it is a strong and realistic account of the 1970's. 'Rita' has shared the same experiences as 'Russell' in both school and work, they were both under pier pressure not to do well and school and would be singled out if they studied. Rita: "............ But studyin' was just for wimps, wasn't it? See, if I'd started takin' school seriously I would have become different from me mates, an' that's not allowed." Because of this attitude to school, or the attitude school gave them, both 'Rita' and 'Russell' ended up in a dead end hairdressing job, but both of them decided they would change there life and both began to break away. ...read more.

Middle

As a girl left school she was expected to marry young and have children soon after, that was the goal of life, but 'Rita' wants more and many things which happened at the time of the play would have 'Rita' to do what she did and give choice to women. The main one of these was the contraceptive pill, which was made available to women at the beginning of the 70's. This gave a choice of when to have children and 'Rita' uses this to stop 'Denny' from getting her pregnant, because she wants a life of her own. Rita: "I told him I'd only have a baby when I had a choice." 'Russell' almost uses 'Rita' to promote the idea to young girls that they could have a life and make choices, this is also a good dramatic technique because many young ladies/girls in the audience at the play could have been thinking about what 'Rita' had achieved and think to themselves that they could do that. Also all the boys knew that as soon as they left school they were off to work in the factories day in day out for the rest of there life's, so maybe the play could have served as inspiration to men watching it as well. ...read more.

Conclusion

But when 'Rita' gains in confidence we see a different side to 'Frank' because he is needed less and less and when he finally crack we hear what he really thinks. Frank: " You know, Rita, I think that like you I shall change my name... Mary Shelly..." Rita: "What?" Frank: " She wrote a little gothic number called Frankenstein." This is a clever statement by 'Frank' and is explaining that he has created a monster in 'Rita'; he only thinks this because he has begun to loose 'Rita'. This is a big twist on the plot and brings the audience to an interesting question, what happens now? All in all it is my opinion that the play 'Educating Rita' is a great insight into 1970's Britain and is extremely enjoyable and excellent play for a stage production. Not just because it is good drama and that 'Willy Russell' has created a comedy with serious underlying choices but also due to the low budget of producing it, it only has two characters an done set, simple but genius. The two hander style works exceptionally well and by the end of the play I felt that I knew 'Frank' and 'Rita' extremely well and the single set creates a cosy "patina" and gives the audience an entertaining and enriched experience, so 'Educating Rita' doesn't make good drama......... It makes exceptional drama. By Craig Robertson Craig Robertson G.C.S.E Coursework - 1 - ...read more.

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