It wouldn’t be autumn without another one-month run of a That Theatre production, and this year the indefatigable Ian Burns, a long-time CPH POST columnist, has chosen Willy Russell’s splendid 1980 play Educating Rita.
Made into a film three years later, both its stars, Michael Caine and Julie Walters, were nominated for Oscars – testament to the rich characters created by Russell.
Charting the development of a relationship between Rita (Dawn Wall), a hairdresser with no formal education, and Frank (Burns), an older academic, the play presents a nuanced and touching picture of class, gender, friendship and much more besides.
It’s a humorous though important insight into the value of education in society and the invisible though often impenetrable boundaries that persist for people like Rita, who seek to learn but have never been in a position before to do so.
Dawn Wall (click here for our recent interview) was Burns and director Barry McKenna’s first and only choice for a role that she describes as fate calling, not least because the former teacher from London via Devon started her own nails business after moving here in 2010.
She gave it up to concentrate on acting full-time, and earlier this year she graduated from the Copenhagen Film and Theatre School.
She already has ten CV credits this year, including a major role in a new Danish web series ‘Porno Leif’.