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Educating Rita 2019 UK tour to star Stephen Tompkinson

Willy Russell's hit play is back on the open road

Stephen Tompkinson
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

A major new stage production of Willy Russell's Educating Rita will tour the UK in 2019.

Directed by Max Roberts, the tour will star Stephen Tompkinson (A Christmas Carol, Art) as Frank, alongside Jessica Johnson as Rita. Johnson previously played the role in Rebecca Frecknall's 2017 production of the show at the Gala Theatre, Durham.

Russell's 1980 play tells the story of the hairdresser Rita, who enrols in the Open University where she encounters university tutor Frank. The film adaptation of the hit play starred Julie Walters and Michael Caine and was nominated for three Academy Awards.

The new stage production will open at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick on 18 April, before visiting The Lowry in Salford, Bradford's Alhambra Theatre, Nottingham Theatre Royal, Theatre Clwyd in Mold, Bath Theatre Royal, Salisbury Playhouse, Exeter Northcott, Eden Court Theatre in Inverness, Wolverhampton Grand, Theatre Royal Wakefield, and Sheffield Lyceum. Further venues are to be announced.

Roberts' production of Educating Rita will have set and costume designs by Patrick Connellan, lighting design by Drummond Orr and sound design by David Flynn.