The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch is set to stage a refreshing take of Willy Russell’s classic comedy Educating Rita, with Rita being portrayed as an ‘Essex girl’, instead of being Liverpudlian. It runs at the theatre from 22 April – 13 May. For the first time in Queen’s Theatre history, audiences will be able to get up close to the action as the theatre will be extending the stage into the auditorium to offer a truly unique and intimate setting. With limited seating on the stage, it’s a viewing experience not to be missed! Playing the Whisky-loving Open University Professor Frank Bryant is Ruairi Conaghan. He has an expansive theatre career working in the West End and Off Broadway and performed alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet at The Barbican in 2015. Danielle Flett is playing Rita, the street-smart gobby hairdresser that’s bursting with ambition. She was most recently seen performing alongside Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) in Jamie Lloyd’s 2016 West End production of Doctor Faustus and is currently filming for a role in the new BBC comedy series White Gold which stars Joe Thomas and James Buckley (The Inbetweeners). Educating Rita is a hilarious yet moving story about a working-class hairdresser determined to better herself with higher education. Frank becomes her assigned tutor, but grudgingly accepts the challenge. Slowly, Frank realises that his enthusiastic student has much to teach him too – making him question himself, his work and his very being in the process. Educating Rita runs at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch from 22 April – 13 May. Tickets are £12.50 - £29 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office on 01708 443333, in person at the theatre or online at queens-theatre.co.uk. Please note the production is suitable for people aged 12+ as it contains some strong language.