Photos: Sweeney & Kelly in Educating Rita rehearsals
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.
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. Photo credit: Catherine Ashmore