Rehearsal photographs have been released of the the Menier Chocolate Factory and Theatre Royal Bath Productions touring version of Educating Rita starring Claire Sweeney and Matthew Kelly

Willy Russell's play runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory for three weeks from tonight (25 April) to 12 May 2012 before embarking on tour to Malvern, Guildford, Glasgow, Bath, Aberdeen, Bradford, Richmond upon Thames, Cambridge, Oxford and Brighton.

Tamara Harvey has directed the two-hander which was previously seen at the Menier in 2010 directed by Jeremy Sams and starring Laura Dos Santos and Larry Lamb (later replaced by Tim Pigott-Smith).

That production transferred to Trafalgar Studios 1, playing in rep with Russell's one-woman play Shirley Valentine which earned Meera Syal a 2011 Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Solo Performance.

Educating Rita centres on an under-privileged Liverpudlian hairdresser who tries to enrich her life by going on an English Lit Open University course and develops a special relationship with her tutor. Originally commissioned by the RSC in 1980, it was made into film, starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine, in 1983.

Matthew Kelly in rehearsal for Educating Rita
Matthew Kelly in rehearsal for Educating Rita. Photo credit: Catherine Ashmore

Willy Russell & Tamara Harvey in rehearsal for Educating Rita
Willy Russell & Tamara Harvey in rehearsal for Educating Rita. Photo credit: Catherine Ashmore

Claire Sweeney in rehearsal for Educating Rita
Claire Sweeney in rehearsal for Educating Rita. Photo credit: Catherine Ashmore

Claire Sweeney & Matthew Kelly in rehearsal for Educating Rita
Claire Sweeney & Matthew Kelly in rehearsal for Educating Rita. Photo credit: Catherine Ashmore

Matthew Kelly in rehearsal for Educating Rita
Claire Sweeney in rehearsal for Educating Rita. Photo credit: Catherine Ashmore