York Theatre Royal, Tue 14 Nov – Sat 18 Nov
Press night Tue 14 Nov, 7.30pm
Best friends Rita and Sue get a lift home from married Bob after babysitting his kids. When he takes the scenic route and offers them a bit of fun, the three start a fling each of them think they control.
Andrea Dunbar’s semi-autobiographical play Rita, Sue and Bob Too, was written for the Royal Court Theatre in 1982 when she was just 19, is a vivid portrait of girls caught between brutal childhood and an unpromising future, both hungry for adult adventure. Told with wicked humour, startling insight and a great ear for dialogue, Rita Sue and Bob Too was adapted into a cult 80s film which was restored and re-released this year by the BFI.
Out of Joint artistic director Kate Wasserberg direct this major new production from Out of Joint, Octagon Theatre Bolton and the Royal Court Theatre which plays at York Theatre Royal from Tue 14 November to Sat 18 November.
Rita is played by Taj Atwal, who was widely acclaimed for her performance in East is East at Trafalgar Studios in the West End, and who starred as Rita in Educating Rita for Hull Truck. She is also known from Stella on Sky, and Kay Mellor’s In The Club on BBC1. Norwich-born, she grew up in York and was a York College performing arts student. Atwal’s co-star from In The Club, Gemma Dobson, who comes from Leeds, makes her professional stage debut as Sue.
Bob is played by James Atherton, who played Will Savage in Hollyoaks for five years, as well as Jamie Bowman in Coronation Street. He has taken theatre roles at Manchester Royal Exchange, Chichester Festival Theatre and Theatre Royal, Haymarket.
Sally Bankes (Mother) has appeared in four productions for the RSC and worked with Taj Atwal in the West End production of East is East. She has extensive comedy and drama television credits. Samantha Robinson (Michelle) played Rita in Educating Rita at Colchester Mercury, and has performed for Northern Broadsides, West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Bush and Bristol Old Vic. Her many TV credits include Cilla. David Walker (Father) has appeared in Emmerdale, The Royal and Coronation Street, and on stage most recently in Hangmen in the West End.
Rita, Sue and Bob Too
York Theatre Royal, Main House
Tue to Sat 7.30pm, matinees Thu 2pm and Sat 2.30pm
Post show discussion Wed 15 Nov
Audio described performance Sat 18 Nov, 2.30pm
Captioned performance Sat 18 Nov, 2.30pm
Tickets £30 – £14, concessions available
Box office 01904 623568. yorktheatreroyal.co.uk