Theatre Review: Educating Rita

This week we welcomed another new theatre company to the Adelaide amateur scene with their first outing at the Bakehouse – IpSkip Productions’ production of ‘Educating Rita’

Presented by IpSkip Productions
Reviewed 10 Jan 2017

This week we welcomed another new theatre company to the Adelaide amateur scene with their first outing at the Bakehouse in the cosy Studio. Willy Russell was a good writer to start off with as his well-written scripts rarely fail and Educating Rita is amongst the best of his offerings. Novice director Nathan Quadrio has done well to cast experienced players who developed their characters nicely and gave us a well-rounded performance.

The set resembled the requisite book lined study, giving the feel of a university lecturers room, small but adequate for teaching. The Studio Theatre is an ideal venue for this, small and intimate, though on opening night it was a bit too close for the audience through lack of air-conditioning. Technically the set worked well although director Quadrio and lighting designer Alex Hatcher should have decided to wire the desk lamp into the lighting grid, or not use it. The delayed switch off of the lamp at the end of scenes was distracting. Hannah Tulip backstage as stage manager, was obviously on the ball; all went smoothly in a confined space.

Apart from a minor hiccup with lines in Act 2, the production ran well and director/producer Quadrio should be pleased with his first effort. Russell’s play is primarily about class differences, which were coming under scrutiny in England in 1982 (the year he wrote the play). Of course there are many other layers to the way in which Rita sees herself as inferior, but accent has to be one of the defining measures and for me, although good, Lauren Renee’s accent was not thick enough – there was not enough contrast.

Having said that I would like to reiterate that both players (Renee and James McCluskey-Garcia) did extremely well, delivering Russell’s dialogue and gaining all the laughs in all the right places. If this is a sample of what IpSkip Productions can do, watch out for their next performance – you have missed this one, its sold out!

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue: Bakehouse Studio Theatre
Season:10 – 14 Jan 2017
Duration: 2hr
Tickets: $18

Disclaimer: Nathan Quadrio is an Arts Reviewer for Glam Adelaide

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