Choose at least two scenes form the play which show how Rita changes as the play progresses. Explain how you would direct an actress playing Rita in these scenes to highlight these changes.
The first scene i have chosen to direct is Act 1 Scene 1. This is important because this is where Rita and Frank first meet. The audience sees Rita as a nervous teenager even though she is actually 26 who like’s to talk, she is very fidgety. For some reason Rita wants to know everything about frank like his love life ect. An actress playing Rita in this scene would need to have a scouse accents, and would have to look like a chav. She would have to always smile. I would suggest that the actress wears an old dress, old enough that the audience can tell she’s poor. More importantly Rita tells Frank that she hasn’t bought a new dress in a few years so she could get in university, “decide whether it’s another change of dress or a change in yourself. ” The actress’ movement and gestures in this scene need to be constantly moving; she can’t stop moving as the audience needs to see that Rita is more nervous than you would think.
A key moment in this scene which revels Rita character at this stage in the play, is when she says “they’ve effin’ an blindin’all day long. It’s all past me the fackin’ grouse.” Here I think the actress should emit a sense of humour around the room. I want her to show that she has a sense of humour and can make people laugh.
Another key moment in this scene is when Frank offers Rita a drink and she says no because it can kill you, then lights a fag and says only cowards are afraid of dying.
The second scene that I have chosen to direct is Act 1 Scene 6. This scene differs from Act 1Scene 1 because in Act 1 Scene 1 Rita is a teen and doesn’t enjoy the company of highly educated people where as in scene 6 Rita is more educated therefore enjoys conversation with more educated people. The audience now sees Rita as a more educated woman. An actress playing Rita in this scene would need to be a woman who looks confused as if they are stuck in the middle of two decisions i would suggest that the actress continues to wear the same dress as in Act 1 Scene 1 because she still hasn’t brought a new dress. The actress’ movement and gestures in this scene needs to be very snobbish because Rita is trying to be more educated yet doesn’t understand what being educated really means. The audience needs that Rita wants to be an educated woman but now she is stuck in the middle, middle man, stranded on an island by her self. In terms of her relation to the character of Frank and the way the actors interact on stage the actress playing Rita needs to be excited that she went to the theatre but also moans that she is left with no one to talk to. I think Rita might act confused towards Frank because she has become more educated and Frank is pushing her away.
A key moment in this scene, which reveals Rita’s character at this stage in the play, is when she says “i had to come tell y’ Frank, last night I went to the theatre a proper one, a professional theatre.” Here I think the actress should act excited so much that she can’t stop talking. I want her to show that she can do educated things because she must look like she is getting more educated. Another key moment in this scene is when Frank says “I want you to come to the house” because in a way he is trying to be nice. However also knows its going to cause trouble. At this point I would like the actress to act surprised. This is important because if she doesn’t look surprised she will look like she is an educated woman which she isn’t quite there yet.
The final scene that I have chosen to direct is Act 2 Scene 7. This scene differs from Act 1 Scene 6 because Rita is now fully educated and knows what being educated means. The audience now sees Rita as an educated woman instead of a nervous teenage girl. An actress playing Rita in this scene would need to be more educated more educated and will show her intelligence.