Welsh actors in reworking of a modern classic
A MUCH-LOVED story of ambition and following your dreams will be played out at Y Ffwrnes next month.
Willy Russell's Educating Rita is being performed in Llanelli by Clwyd Theatr Cymru, kicking off a Wales-wide tour starring Richard Elfyn and Bridgend-born Katie Elin-Salt in the two-man show.
The thought-provoking play, which was also adapted into a popular film starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters, tells the story of hairdresser Rita who decides to embark on an Open University course where she meets alcoholic tutor Frank — changing both their lives for ever.
Richard Elfyn, who plays Frank, said he was looking forward to returning to Llanelli, having performed at Theatr Elli many times.
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"It was always a pleasure," said the 52-year-old. "I'm very much looking forward to seeing Y Ffwrnes."
He said despite the play's comic moments, the production — being directed by Emma Lucia — was not just a comedy routine.
"We don't play it for laughs," he said.
"We play it for real.
"My character loses his way in life, not having his dreams fulfilled, and this whirlwind of a girl walks in and transforms his life.
"But it's quite tragic in that way."
He said as well as working on the play, he had recently been filming alongside fellow Welsh stars Michael Sheen and Ioan Gruffudd for Hollywood feature film Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box, which comes out later this year.
He said: "It was great fun because there were lots of Welsh people on set, so in between scenes we were speaking Welsh."
Educating Rita is running at Y Ffwrnes from Wednesday, April 10, until Friday, April 12, at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee on April 13 at 2.30pm.