Plays are written to be performed on stage. Discuss one play you saw performed where an awareness of its performance aspects is necessary to understand how it presents its themes and issues.
The primary purpose in writing a play is to see it performed on stage. The staging of Educating Rita, by Willy Russell underpins many of the issues Russell raises in the play such as, Rita's decision to change, the reflection of culture through verbal language and body language, together with how education enhances confidence. These issues are conveyed through the dramatic conventions of Rita's dialogue with Frank, her nave behaviour and her dress code. Each of these performance aspects highlights our understanding of the issues the text raises.
Rita's energetic, unconventional banter with her teacher Frank reinforces her decision to change. Rita first walks into Frank's tutorial room with a naive sense of who she is. In the opening scene she says, "I tried to explain that I wanted a better way of livin' me life."" Her manners and English, she feels, are not up to the standard of the high working class status, Frank is in. We become aware that she begins to portray herself as being ashamed of her culture and the way her working class people behave in public. Rita starts to become unworthy, from her opinion, to be anywhere with anyone. She can't go with Frank's high-class people, because of their beautiful english and good manners that she doesn't feel, she has. But she then can't go out with her own people because all they do is go downtown and into the pub. From that point on, in the play, Rita is portrayed, by Russell as a character that has the determination to change. She has the confidence to learn better and to improve from her mistakes. After going to London, she changes her speech and her mind is upgraded into thinking on a higher level. Rita learns to speak more confidently and more intelligently towards everyone.