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Educating Rita at the Gaiety Theatre (Review)

The works of Willy Russell have endured remarkably well.

Educating Rita holds up as perfectly today as it did when it was first written over a quarter of a century ago. For this latest production by Lyric Theatre, Russell has updated and tweaked the original text slightly. He translates the drama from Liverpool to Belfast, with director Emma Jordan reinforcing the shift in setting by punctuating the acts with snippets of radio coverage recalling the darkest days of the Troubles. The setting adds resonance to the themes of play and its characters, but the truth is that it’s hardly necessary.

Russell’s Educating Rita is a beautiful expression of that yearning to escape, of the desire to be “free”, whether from one’s economic conditions, the dreary drag the day-to-day life, or even one’s own destructive habits. It is a loving ode to those who find the courage to pursue that freedom, and a tragic paean for those who lack the strength. Jordan’s stage adaptation of Russell’s play captures that sense of desperation and passion beautifully, anchored in a powerhouse central performance by Kerri Quinn as the eponymous hairdresser.

Lyric Theatre’s adaptation of Educating Rita is a joy.

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Memories of a Multiplex: The Gaiety Cinema, Sligo

I took a trip down to Sligo with the better half at the weekend there. I grew up in the city, but I haven’t found myself visiting too often. There’s something strange about returning to the town where you grew up. Everything seems smaller, even if there are far more shopping centres and recognisable brands around the place. It was good to go back and to see it all again. And my better half was so kind that she suggested that we go to the local cinema and catch a screening. And so we attended a showing of The Fighter at the Gaiety Cinema Sligo.

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Non-Review Review: The Shawshank Redemption at the Gaiety

We caught The Shawshank Redemption as it was winding up in The Gaiety last weekend. I’ll come clean and admit that I am not as in love with the movie as most, but I did like it. I feel the same way about the stage adaptation – which got a standing ovation from our crowd. I was less convinced – I don’t particularly love it, I don’t particularly hate it. My opinion sits somewhere in the middle.

Reg. E. Cathey never thought that OZ would have prepared him for this...

Reg. E. Cathey never thought that OZ would have prepared him for this...

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