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What does Educating Rita gain and what does it lose from being a two-handed play?

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Amandeep Ghuman 11Red Educating Rita What does "Educating Rita" gain and what does it lose from being a two-handed play? "Educating Rita", is a two-handed play which only has two characters and one set. "Educating Rita" was written in 1985 by Willy Russell, it looks at how the relationship between two people, Rita and Frank, develops as the play goes on. "Educating Rita" is the story of Rita, a hairdresser who decides to go to University in order to discover who she really is. When she arrives at University she meets Frank, a lazy alcoholic who doesn't really care about being a University lecturer. At first, Frank refuses to teach Rita but he soon finds he has a soft spot for Rita and decides to teach her everything he knows about English Literature. I will be analysing the advantages and disadvantages of "Educating Rita" being two-handed play. I will be referring to the play version and also to the film version of "Educating Rita" to analyse the different gains and losses of the two-handed play. First of all, I will be looking at the many advantages of "Educating Rita" being a two-handed play. There are many benefits of having only two characters and only one setting in a play, for example a close relationship develops between the ...read more.


The single set highlights this and shows how much Frank and the university have transformed her and it also shows a contrast from the first time Rita entered Frank's study room and how she didn't know anything about English Literature. The pace of the play is another advantage of "Educating Rita" being a two-handed play because, as there is only one set in the whole play, the pace of the play is maintained because there are no slow set changes to slow down the speed, which does keep the audience more focused on the play. The only way that other locations apart from Frank's study room in the university are created is by Rita's dialogue when talking to Frank. Another advantage of "Educating Rita" being a two-handed play is that it gives the writer much more control over the tone of the events narrated by Rita. For example, her account of Denny burning her books is bad enough, but seeing the scene could have been too brutal for a comedy. So, the writer can keep the play as comedic as possible as there is only one set, if the play wasn't a two-handed play, the writer would have had to put that scene in the play but the only way the audience hear about Denny burning Rita's books is when Rita in Act One, scene five says to Frank "It's burnt, all your Chekhov books. ...read more.


There are also very significant disadvantages to "Educating Rita" being a two-handed play, for example comedic moments aren't fully exploited and the audience only hears about a comic moment when Rita and Frank talk about it. In my opinion, the film was more effective to me because I don't think the play highlighted the social background of Frank and Rita, it was very hard to really understand Denny and Rita's growing problems and to an extent Frank and Julia's personal problems. The film also had the scene of Frank delivering a lecture whilst drunk, which I think the play didn't really exploit and wasn't actually funny when it was told in the play. Also, seeing Rita and Frank outside the university with their personal lives wasn't really developed in the play, for example when Rita was going to have dinner with Frank and Julia, in the play it didn't really explain in detail why Rita didn't want to go in and have dinner, but in the film it was easily understandable why Rita didn't want to go in. So, in conclusion I found the film version of "Educating Rita" much more effective than the play version because the film was much easier to understand than the play because I was very confused of what actually was happening in the play. ...read more.

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