HATHERSAGE: Players launch production of Educating Rita

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WHEN Hathersage Players decided to stage a play about a university professor, they had one performer within their ranks who fitted the bill.

WHEN Hathersage Players decided to stage a play about a university professor, they had one performer within their ranks who fitted the bill.

Roger Plank is a real-life professor of structural engineering who worked at Sheffield University.

While Roger is still working after his retirement, the professor he plays this week in Educating Rita doesn’t share the same enthusiasm.

Roger is cast as Frank, an Open University lecturer, whose disillusionment drives him to the bottle.

Frank starts to see the world through different eyes when he begins to tutor a hairdresser called Rita.

The effects are both amusing and serious as her fresh, intuitive approach becomes clouded and stifled as she grapples with the problem of a formal education, while Frank learns something — to believe in himself.

Rita is played by Gemma Laidler, orginally from the north-east of England, who is transformed into a Liverpool hairdresser for the play which contains strong language.

Educating Rita opens at Hathersage Memorial Hall tonight (Wednesday, June 5) and continues until Saturday, June 8, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets £7 and £6 (concessions) are available from Chris Tupling, tel.07976 621153 cjtupling@gmail.