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LOCAL COMPANY HAND PICKED TO BRING WORLD FAMOUS PLAY TO THE CUSTOMS HOUSE
South Shields Customs House
Wednesday 14th to Saturday 17th September 2016
Ion Productions, based in South Shields, has been handpicked by Willy Russell (Blood Brothers, Shirley Valentine, Stags and Hens), to perform Educating Rita at the Customs House.
The company had to go through a 6 month long process to be one of only 5 professional companies to be granted permission to perform the play in the UK, this year.
Educating Rita is best known for the 1983 movie adaptation, starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine. Willy Russell’s intimate comedy with big ideas and an even bigger heart, is a gem of British theatre and a multi-award-winning comedy.
Brash, straight-talking hairdresser Rita is determined to change her life. World-weary, alcohol-fuelled lecturer Frank is a failed poet. In need of extra cash, he agrees to tutor Rita, unaware of the whirlwind that’s about to enter his world…
They form a life-changing bond as Rita starts to find herself, and Frank finds a new lease of life. Touching, life-affirming and very, very funny, Educating Rita is a comic masterpiece from one of England’s best-loved writers.
Gareth Hunter, director of IONProductions said “This is a fantastic play that we have wanted to do for a number of years but for various reasons has never come off. However following a stringent process which involved the quality of the company’s previous productions being assessed, Willy Russell himself approved the company and our choice of director”
Director Neil Armstrong (Death at Dawn, 1916 No Turning Back, Cinderella) was interested and got Willy’s approval straight away and he has been joined by Laura Lonsdale (Waiting For Gateaux, A Nightingale Sang, Shakers) as Rita and Sean Kenney ( Hamlet, Darkside of the Half Moon, George Gently) as Frank.
Neil added “I love directing comedy. What we have here is a cracking play, two brilliant actors and show that will appeal to everyone.”