Educating Rita Interview





Interviewer: Hello, I'm Tina and welcome back to 93.5 Dump Fm, where everything here matters. Today with us now, we have the author from Educating Rita, Willy Russell. Good afternoon Mr. Russell, how are we, oh I mean you today (chuckles)? I probably should use my proper English.


Willy Russell: Thankyou Tina (chuckles). That is alright, you don't have to speak all proper.


Interviewer: well that’s a good thing to know. Anyway, I have a few questions about your book or should I say play, Educating Rita if that’s alright?


Willy Russell: that is quite fine.


Interviewer: can you tell us a little of what your play educating Rita is about?


Willy Russell: certainly. Educating Rita is about a third class woman called Rita who wants more with her life than being a hairdresser and having a baby. She wants an education. So she goes to Open University where tutor, frank, doesn't have really much to teach her but does. If you know what I mean. To cut it short, it's basically my life story.


Interviewer: wow, sounds intresting. What is your view on education?


Willy Russell: education is a good if you go to the right school. As I didn’t go to the right school so it wasn’t exactly a good thing. Everyone needs an education now days to get somewhere in life. I mean you can't just leave school and be bum for the rest of your life, but you might as well be dead. You know what I mean?


Interviewer: yen sure do.


Willy Russell: if you want to survive these days you need a good education and then you'll most probably go to university to do further studies.


Interviewer: yep and that’s how I ended up here. So what kind of impact did that make on your life?


Willy Russell: I hated my school years; I wasn't much different from anyone else I knew. Especially when I moved schools from my primary school to Huston secondary school. I hated my metal work teacher, Mr Anders. He used to make me to my work over and over and over again. Apparently I could never get exactly the way he wanted it. Even if it was a little bit off, he would make me do it again. I didn’t care much for school, especially high school. After another year, once again I moved schools to Rainford. I had a lesson every week of silent reading and from that I grew my love for reading and writing. From silent reading I knew I wanted to be a writer but I couldn’t tell anyone. Instead I’d spent every lunch time in the underground club called the cavern. I did no study what so ever, so I thought that there was no point in trying to pass whole years worth of work in six months. Then I went to college and did a year in hairdressing. My mother wanted free hair cuts.


Interviewer: doesn't everyone?


Willy Russell: anyway I spent most of my time at college going to parties or arranging them. I got a job, which was a complete miracle and disaster. I eventually opened up my own salon but I couldn't stop thinking about writing and I took any opportunity to write. Then I decided to go to college again to become a teacher, and also write novels, plays what ever you want to call them. So all of this had a big effect on my life.


Interviewer: you have quite and interesting life Mr Russell.


Willy Russell: please call me Willy.


Interviewer: ok, Willy. To what extent was your play educating Rita autobiographical?


Willy Russell: well as I basically just told you my life story, I had a bad school experience like Rita did. She never really got a good education and never got a chance to discover herself until she went to Open University, when she was twenty-six. I was also an adult student, just like Rita. It wasn’t easy going back to college with all the young adults. I must have seemed like a grandfather to them. Just like Rita when she saw all the young students sitting outside on the grass talking intelligently.