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The opening scene catches the audience's attention in a number of different ways. Discuss how the playwrite, Willy Russell, has achieved this and whether he has been successful.

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Introduction

The opening scene catches the audience's attention in a number of different ways. Discuss how the playwrite, Willy Russell, has achieved this and whether he has been successful. The opening scene of Educating Rita is one that really catches the audience's attention in many different ways and to which some can relate to, be it through actions taken or through a character's attitude. The scene deals with and introduces the problems of both Frank and Rita, without going into depth over either of the character's troubles too soon. It is the instant clash of wit that catches the audience's attention. Russell also uses stage direction aswell as his character's personalities to keep information on these two characters flowing. He also uses symbolism as a further way of describing his characters without it being too obvious to his audience that he's letting on more and more about them. Act 1 scene 1 is the introductionary stage to Russell's characters. In the first five minutes of this scene, we get to know Frank quite well. We learn that Frank is a university lecturer who appears to have grown tired of his job and the same old people. We see him searching the rows and rows of literature in his office for an author beginning with "E"; he then seems to decide he wants Dickens. ...read more.

Middle

In Rita, Frank finds the breath of fresh air both he and his job need, and in Frank, Rita finds someone to support and listen to her throughout her studies. Despite these similarities between the pair, there are still differences. Rita's idea of a classic novel is an erotic one (Rubyfruit Jungle) and her idea of a classic poet is Roger McGough. Frank's main use for literature as Rita burst into his office is to hide his liquor, and he gave up on poetry long before Rita entered his life. Also, Rita is born-and-bred working class, whereas Frank is comfortable as Middle-class. This differ in social stature has an important effect on the language the two use and their accents. Still, nevertheless, the two click immediately. The stage directions at the beginning of scene 1 are very important, as through them we can fully imagine the setting of Russell's play. We are told that the scene is set in a Victorian-built university in the north of England, so immediately we sense some class about the attendee's of this place. We then get a description of the room, which is important as we understand the symbolism Russell's uses right from the beginning. The book itself tells use about both the setting and the props used, but nothing about music or costume. ...read more.

Conclusion

She watches them, and asks Frank whether they could have a tutorial on the grass, but she fails to convince Frank of the benefits. The window, like Frank "hasn't been opened for generations." Rita desires the breath of fresh air and wants to get educated. In contrast, Frank is more than content to remain isolated and remain in his insular office. I believe the opening scene of Educating Rita is very effective when capturing the audience's attention. The introduction of both characters' traits, and how they react to each other's opinions and personalities is both funny and moving throughout the play, but most interesting in this opening scene. This play also has underlying messages which make sense even nowadays, around 20 years after the play was written. Such as Rita's perseverance with her higher education instead of giving in to the stereotype of a woman at this time even though everyone around her (her mother and her husband) thinks she shouldn't be enrolling in her Open University course. In this respect, Rita is admirable, and shows that anything can happen to anyone if they simply keep at it. The audience simply must keep reading, as together Rita and Frank spark. Rita can study without judgement, and Frank is happier around Rita than he has been for years. These two characters gradually learn to help each other, and it is that element of their relationship that keeps the audience interested. ...read more.

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