Educating Rita

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Educating Rita, Programmheft der Landesbühne Niedersachsen Nord, 1981

Willy Russell: Educating Rita. Theaterstück in 2 Akten eignet sich gut zur Einführung in die Beschäftigung mit der englischsprachigen Literatur. Zahlreiche Impulse zur Beschäftigung mit britischen oder amerikanischen Schriftstellern. Unterhaltsam gemacht (wurde 1980 von der Royal Shakespeare Company aufgeführt und zur "Best Comedy of the Year" gewählt). Bietet verschiedenste Diskussionsmöglichkeiten (Klassengesellschaft, Rolle der Frau, Schule). Sehr ansprechend verfilmt. Video-Version günstig erhältlich. Sollte unbedingt in die Bearbeitung miteinbezogen werden.

Vorschlag für eine Stundenplanung - Bernhard Katzer 2003

Die folgende Stundenplanung habe ich mit ganz gutem Erfolg in einem Grundkurs 13 am Wirtschaftsgymnasium durchgeführt. Kritik, Anregungen und Berichte über eigene Erfahrungen sind willkommen


  • Liverpool (Ort der Handlung)
  • Willy Russel (Autor - Zusammenfassung des Textes " "Educating the author"; im Vorspann der Langenscheidt-Longman Lektüre oder im Nachspann der Diesterweg Lektüre.)
  • Open University
    (Informationen dazu sind auch in den Lehrerhandreichungen abgedruckt)

1. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel
Wandkarte, Regionalkarte (Folie), Dias oder Folien Liverpool und seine Entwicklung

2. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel
Willy Russell /
Open University
abhängig vom Referenten Biographischer Hintergrund des Autors /
Das System der britischen Open University

3. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel
Summary Scene 1
Students' first impressions
The setting and the characters
Tafelarbeit / Folie
Entwurf eines Bühnenbildes
BKatzer - Educating Rita - room.gif

Frank and Rita - a love-hate relationship

Frank Rita
drinker smoker
married similarities married
hates his students hates her customers
dissatisfied with his life dissatisfied with her life
mutual understanding -> liking
reserved straightforward
academic background working class background
educated differences uneducated
unwilling to teach eager to learn everything
frustrated, bored, appalling teacher energetic, self-assured ambitious hairdresser
lives in Formby lives in Liverpool
educated English Liverpudlian slang
misunderstandings -> contrast -> humour / conflict
Inhaltliche Grundlagen

4. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel
Gruppenarbeit zu Act 1 scene 1:
Gruppe 1: Find obvious misunderstandings between Frank and Rita. What do they tell us about their personal backgrounds

Gruppe 2: Why does Rita reject the people of her own class?

Gruppe 3: This play was voted best comedy of the year. What comical effects can you find.


A summary

Rita's past experience is deeply rooted in her working class background. She is familiar with pubs, beers, movies, pornography and popular fiction. She realises that there is something she doesn't understand, that in a way she is not free. She wants to change, wants a better way of living, but doesn't really know how to achieve it. She rejects her working class origin and changes her name.

Willy Russel uses irony to point out the differences between Rita's world and Franks. (Irony is based on contrast). Rita is a breath of fresh air in Frank's disillusioned and stagnating world. (the 'handle'- scene). She feels that this is not her world and that Frank's world may not accept her (not a proper university) . Nevertheless she realised that Frank does not really fit into that other world either. (He throws students out of the window). He's different - He's some qualities which she as a working class memeber can appreciate (He's a Flora Man). But he understands the other world, too (he can swear and knows that it's only words). That's why she thinks, he's the ideal teacher for her.

They are different all right, but just that gives them the chance to learn from each other. Frank might also learn from Rita (if only that, if the door needs oiling, you should "get on with it"!)

Kann eventuell als schriftliche Hausaufgabe erarbeitet warden.

5. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel
Text - Theatre - Video
Has Frank already taught her anything?
The Wilde Swans at Coole
Discussion about the poem
Einführung der Video-Version
Folie: The White Swans at Coole
Video: Educating Rita Act 1, scene 1 (13 minutes)
Unterschiede der Medien:
Text - Video - Theaterstück

6. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel
Scenes 3 and 4
How to approach literature?
Text: act 1, scene 3 + 4
Two ways to approach literature
Video part 2 (18 minutes)
How to deal with literature

7. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel
Gruppenarbeit: 3 Poems.
Students study 3 poems and judge them.
1. Three poems
2. professional analyses
Appreciation vs. Literary Criticism

8. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel
Collect information about Rita's school experience.
How Rita sees it.
Her practical experience
Frank's view
Text: act 1, scene 2
  • Life at a British state school
  • Education. (critical debate)

Imagine: Rita has just paid a visit to our school. Write an additional dialogue of your own, in which Rita tells Frank excitedly what she saw (Evtl. als schriftl. Hausaufgabe)

9. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel
the half-caste
Video part 3 (21 minutes)


  • dress standards
  • customs (wine)
  • topics if conversation
  • language
  • "court jester"
  • Spanish plonk
  • someone funny and delightful (=unusual)
  • marriage /babies
  • beer
  • football
  • Everyone pissed or on the valium
  • plastic glasses
  • stories about the past
  • vandalism and violence
  • The Daily Mirror and the Sun
  • ITV
  • The Unions
"There must be better songs to sing" (p. 46)

Text (esp. Act 1, scene 7) || Problems of a changing Rita

10. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel
Rita and Frank
A Love Story or a Tragedy?


Frank RITA
  • p23 "why didn't you walk in here 20 years ago"
  • (p.32)"aren't you?"(having an affair with me)
  • p34 "Let's go to the pub"
interested in an affair
  • p33 "findin meself"
not interested in an affair
("connects" an affair with her previous life)
...when literature takes the place of life its time to..(34)


He wants to take life away from me (34)



TRAGEDY (p.40) = inevitable, pre-ordained. (Macbeth)

Rita must finish her studies.
Then she will "find a better song to sing".
There is no way back for her.


Frank will never be able to prevent Rita's change (it's inevitable)

Text: Act 1, scenes 5 - 8

  • The difficult relationship between Frank and Rita
  • Tragedy (Macbeth)

11. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel

Group work
Ausarbeitung einer zusätzlichen Szene.
Text production
role play

Rollenvorgabe zur 11. Stunde

  • Group 1: Write down what may have happened between Rita and Denny. (Scene "4a") - 2 students play the scene.
  • Group 2: Rita tells her parents that her marriage is breaking up.
    Produce an additional scene showing how they may have argued
  • Group 3: Frank and the other lecturers. They have got repeated reports about Frank's unconventional teaching methods. Create a dialogue between one or two senior lecturers and Frank.


  • Understanding Frank's and Rita's problems
  • language practice

12. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel
The new Rita
Act 2
Text Act 2, Scene 1


  • excited
  • confident
  • full of news
  • has given up smoking
  • new clothes (second hand)
  • new friends (Trish / Tiger)
  • a proper student
  • knowledge
  • has lost her innocent point of view
  • An educated woman (doesn't depend on Fank anymore)

</popup> Video part 4

Rita's changes at summer school

13. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel
Frank's tragedy
Text Act 2, Scene 2-5


Rita - The monster Frank produced:

  • doesn't speak naturally (p.51; p. 67)
  • doesn't depend on him any more (p.54-55; p.68-69)
  • has changed her name again (p.69)
  • prefers young, classy people (Trish, Tiger) to Frank.
  • Instead of being subjective, innocent and unique she is now standardised in her judgement (p.67)
Rita has gone - Susan is there
How Frank sees the new Rita
Does education produce "Daleks"?

14. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel
A Happy Ending? Video last section
(45 minutes)
Video version

15. Stunde

Inhalt Medien Lernziel
A Happy Ending!
A story of give and take
Map and pictures of Australia
  • Australia - paradise for the likes of me?
  • What Australia stands for
  • Discussion of the play's last scene


  • Longman Literature (ISBN 0-582-06013-3)
  • Diesterweg (ISBN 3-425-04099-5) (dazu "Teacher's Book" siehe unten)
  • Reclam UB 9040 (ISBN 978-3-15-009040-4; preisgünstigste Ausgabe!)


  • Langenscheidt-Longman (ISBN 3-526-50382-6)
  • Diesterweg: Comments and Study Aids (ISBN 3-425-09088-7)
  • Diesterweg: "Teacher's Book" (ISBN 3-425-09000-2)




Educatin Rita
Der Autor Willy Russell

Diese Seite basiert auf einer Veröffentlichung von Bernhard Katzer auf aus dem Jahr 2003 unter der Adresse Die Inhalte wurden mit der freundlichen Genehmigung von Bernhard Katzer ins ZUM-Wiki übernommen.