NEWS: Gray O’Brien to star in Perth Theatre’s Educating Rita
Award-winning ex-Corrie favourite, Scottish film and television actor Gray O’Brien is taking on the iconic role of Frank in Perth Theatre’s production of Educating Rita.
Gray picked up the British Soap Awards Villain of the Year gong for his role as Tony Gordon on the cobbles from 2007 until 2010, and has also had regular roles in Peak Practice, Casualty and River City. In 2017, he starred in ITV mini drama series The Loch. He recently played Levine in Bill Kenwright’s touring stage show Catch Me if you Can.
Gray will be joined by Rachael-Rose McLaren in the role of Rita. Emerging talent Rachael-Rose was last seen in Perth Theatre in November 2022 in the sell-out National Theatre of Scotland production Enough of Him about the Perthshire slave Joseph Knight and his bid for freedom.
Running in Perth Theatre from Thursday 16 March until Saturday 1 April, Educating Rita is directed by Martin McCormick, who won the hearts of the people of Perth with celebrated community football show Oh When the Saints in June 2022.
Willy Russell’s hysterical, thought-provoking modern classic premiered in 1980 at the RSC and went on to win multiple awards as well as being adapted for a feature film starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine.
Still as relevant and powerful more than 40 years after it first hit the stage, Educating Rita centres around the relationship between Rita a working-class hairdresser with a thirst for knowledge and disillusioned university lecturer Frank.
Martin McCormick said:
“I’m thrilled to be directing Educating Rita as it’s very much what I’d consider to be a modern classic. It’s the typical clash of cultures formula between teacher and pupil that can be traced back to Pygmalion and beyond. Rita seeks to enlighten herself with the help of university professor, Frank. There is loads going against her; family, class, her gender. But the major stumbling block is Frank himself!
Educating Rita contains all the hallmarks of what audiences love in a play. It’s funny, entertaining, thought-provoking and- even after the 40 plus years since Willy Russell wrote it – very relevant.”
Educating Rita is the first play in the revitalised Perth Theatre Season Subscription which gives regular theatregoers significant discounts when booking a selection of shows including popular classics, timeless comedy, mind-boggling mysteries and uplifting musicals.
Other productions in the Perth Theatre Season Subscription are The Mousetrap, National Theatre of Scotland’s Kidnapped, London Classic Theatre’s Abigail’s Party and the Raw Material and Eden Court co-production The Stamping Ground.
Audiences receive a discount of 15% when booking at least three shows, or 25% when booking all five together.
For tickets and info about Educating Rita and the Perth Theatre Season Subscription visit perththeatreandconcerthall.com or call or visit the Perth Theatre Box Office on 01738 621031 (10am – 4pm Monday to Saturday).