Valley Artists

The Arts End of the Hunter Valley


FRANKWhat can I teach you?
RITA:  Everything.

Welcome to our 2014 Season!

Valley Artists Inc. is proud to announce that our first production for 2014 is Educating Rita, a wonderful play made familiar to many through the Oscar-nominated movie starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters.

Originally written for the Royal Shakespeare Company by British playwright Willy Russell, Educating Rita is a comedy set in the 1980s in a northern English university.  The play traces the powerful story of a woman's journey of learning.  Rita is a forthright young hairdresser who seeks escape from the routine of her job and social life, enrolling in an Open University English Literature course.  Her assigned tutor is Frank Bryant, a jaded, middle-aged academic with a fondness for the bottle.  Frank has misgivings about Rita's ability to adapt to academia but is won over by her refreshing enthusiasm and brash sincerity.  The effects of Rita's education process are both amusing and poignant as she grapples with the problem of a formal education geared to passing exams.  Over the course of a year these two beautifully drawn characters have a profound effect on one another, Frank forced to re-examine his life and Rita finding a new self-confidence and choices she so desperately wanted.

Educating Rita has all the essential elements that audiences in the Valley will love and we will be using the revised script that many audiences may not have seen.  First time director Robyn Blackwell has assembled an outstanding cast and crew and rehearsals are now underway.  The roles are being filled by two very talented people: Cath Patterson - a new and welcome addition to Valley Artists - is Rita and Frank Bryant is played by none other than Valley favourite Alan Glover.  The technical expertise is enormous with Giles Tester in charge of the stage design and build, Peter Firminger as lighting and sound designer, Lynda Marsh in costume design and wardrobe and Andrew Jones as stage manager.

Mark Friday May 9 in your diary for an opening night at Laguna Hall not to be missed.  The show runs for a further 5 nights (Saturday May 10, and Wednesday May 14 through to Saturday May 17, all evening shows commencing at 7.30pm).  We are also presenting a special Mother's Day (Sunday May 11) matinee show and lunch package in conjunction with Great Northern Trading Post. 

Tickets for the shows will be on sale shortly and can be purchased at Wollombi General Store or GNTP, online at or by calling 4998 3419.  For further early information about the show and tickets, please contact Camilla Dorsch

Valley Artists Inc is a dynamic & innovative community theatre group located in the Wollombi Valley, Lower Hunter NSW.

Valley Artists is a non-profit organisation surviving solely on ticket sales, enthusiastic members and the generosity of local sponsorship (our yearly sponsors dinner is a must-do on the valley's social calendar).