Theatre News

Willy Russell's Educating Rita to be staged outdoors this summer with Stephen Tompkinson and Jessica Johnson

The show is heading to the Minack Theatre in Cornwall

Stephen Tompkinson and Jessica Johnson will play at the Minack Theatre (right)
Stephen Tompkinson and Jessica Johnson will play at the Minack Theatre (right)
© Left: David Pugh Productions, right: Nilfanion / CC BY-SA (

Outdoor theatre will return to the Minack Theatre this summer.

Willy Russell's hit play Educating Rita, about a university student and tutor who improve each others' lives, will be presented at the venue with social distancing from 18 to 29 August.

The production was on a UK tour when the Government closed theatres, with this new run able to get actors and creatives back in action despite indoor venues being unable to reopen at the moment. It will star Stephen Tompkinson as Frank and Jessica Johnson as Rita and is directed by Max Roberts.

David Pugh explained his decision to stage the production outdoors for two weeks: "I am a producer, so I should produce. The idea of playing Educating Rita at the Minack Theatre is not only exciting but also a step towards re-opening all of our theatres. I do worry about the rain but when I mentioned this to Willy Russell, he said ‘Don't worry, I'll just add a line. Rita can say: There's a leak in your ceiling, Frank.'"

The piece has set and costume designs by Patrick Connellan, lighting design by Drummond Orr and sound design by David Flyn

Earlier this week, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre announced plans to stage 70 outdoor concert performances of Jesus Christ Superstar, with more shows likely to be revealed in the coming weeks.