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How does Russell make the opening scene of "Educating Rita" interesting for the audience?

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How does Russell make the opening scene of "Educating Rita" interesting for the audience? What are the audience invited to think about in this scene? In act 1 scene 1, Russell interests the audience by introducing the two characters Frank and Rita as being two completely different people from very different backgrounds who are both unhappy. I will explore their backgrounds and what they want in their lives. The whole of the play is set in a university office in Liverpool. This is probably because the play is about their weekly meetings in the room. It could also be so you only need one set if you were performing the play. The room has a window overlooking the university gardens. The walls are lined with books and there is a big desk. There is also a painting of a nude religious scene on one wall. Frank is educated and does not really appreciate the room as being anything special where as Rita is not educated and really wants the room. This also reflects their attitudes to education, because Frank doesn't really care that he has an education but Rita wants one and she doesn't have one. Frank is a university lecturer who works in the office the play is set in. He isn't an alcoholic but he does like drinking. This is very unstereotypical because you think of all teachers as being respected, law abiding citizens. ...read more.


but, when Rita appears on stage and he tries to keep up with her in their conversation, he seems a lot better person. At the end of the scene, Frank likes the O.U. course a lot more than before he met Rita. This is because he likes Rita. He also thinks a lot more about things in general and he is starting to show his better side. In this scene, the audience start off by disrespecting him because he drinks, he hates the job and only does it for the money, but then further through the scene as he opens up to Rita, you begin to respect him. The audience are invited to respond in this way because the audience have to be kept entertained. It also keeps the audience guessing what will happen. 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. ...read more.


In act 1 scene1, Russell uses different types of humour with the different characters. With Frank, he uses his misunderstanding of some of the things Rita says to interest the audience:- Rita: she used to be with Charlie's Angels. Frank: remains blank This statement shows that he knows very little about popular television. Rita brings humour into the play by the things she says and by not understanding Frank. Together, in their usual conversation, Frank and Rita make the play humorous by talking about strange things:- Rita "Try and sell them a wig." Their conversation often goes in weird directions i.e. at the start of the scene they are talking about whether or not the picture is pornographic and at the end of the scene they are talking about Flora margarine. At the end of the scene we are left wondering several things, whether they are going to get closer, what is Rita going to learn from Frank and is Frank going to carry on teaching her. At the end of the scene, the audience are engaged so they want to carry on watching because, they want to know what will happen in the rest of the play. These things include, whether she will get what she wants and whether she will pass or fail her exam. Russell has used the combination of these two completely different characters to add humour. This humour has built the drama up a lot because little details are revealed throughout the scene which makes you raise questions about what will happen at the end of the play. 1 ...read more.

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