Theatre News

Educating Rita producer takes to Twitter to offer show to UK venues as part of new tour

In an unorthodox programming move, producer David Pugh has called for venues to contact him regarding possible tour dates

Educating Rita
Educating Rita
© Lynn Batten
These are strange days for the theatre world, and unorthodox solutions are being found for unorthodox problems.

Producer David Pugh has asked for venues and companies to contact him regarding his starry production of Educating Rita with Stephen Tomkinson and Jessica Johnson. Taking to Twitter, Pugh has invited any "theatre, community centre, arena or front room" to reach out to him if they are able to house a viable socially distanced production this autumn.

Pugh, whose previous work includes the West end production of Art, the Olivier Award-winning Heroes, Equus, as well as recent Take That musical The Band, which is currently getting the big-screen treatment, has produced Educating Rita on two tours – in 2019 and 2020.

The 2020 production was cut short by the pandemic, though is in the middle of a two-week outdoor run at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall.

— David Pugh (@davidsoho1) August 24, 2020

Willy Russell's hit play, about a university student and tutor who improve each others' lives has set and costume designs by Patrick Connellan, lighting design by Drummond Orr and sound design by David Flynn.

It was originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and played at the Warehouse Theatre, London in 1980, starring Julie Walters and Mark Kingston. Walters reprised her role in the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning film opposite Michael Caine.

You can watch a trailer for the piece here: