WHEN married hairdresser Rita enrols on a university course to expand her horizons, little does she realise where the journey will take her.

Her tutor Frank is a frustrated poet, brilliant academic and and dedicated drinker, whose less than enthusiastic about taking Rita on, but the two soon realise how much they have to teach each other.

Do these characters and storyline sound familiar?

Well, Julie Walters and Michael Cain brought Rita and Frank to the nation's attention in the hugely successful 1983 movie of Educating Rita. Playwright Willy Russell's hilarious and heart-warming comedy had already landed him an Olivier award in 1980 when it was staged in London’s West End by the RSC before being adapted by Willy into the multi award winning film which starred Julie and Michael.

Fast forward to 2019 and running from April 18-27, the stage version of Educating Rita returns to the spotlight, playing Theatre by the Lake as part of the Keswick theatre's spring season. A co-production between Theatre by the Lake and David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers, the play stars one of UK's best loved actors Stephen Tompkinson as Frank, playing opposite Jessica Johnson as Rita. Stephen's probably most recognisable for his roles as Father Clifford in Ballykissangel, Danny in Wild at Heart and as DCI Banks.

Meanwhile, also in the theatre's spring season, is a new version of August Strindberg's Creditors by Howard Brenton, running from Friday, March 22 until Saturday, April 20. The play focuses on Adolph, a young artist deeply in love with his new wife Tekla. But a chance meeting with a suave stranger in a seaside hotel shakes Adolph’s devotion to the core. Creditors is a wickedly enjoyable black comedy, regarded by Strindberg as his masterpiece. James Sheldon plays Adolf, Dorothea Myer-Bennett is in the role of Tekla and David Sturzaker is Gustaf.

Also in the theatre's spring season is a bold new adaptation by Sean Aydon of Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, a fast-paced thriller that will keep audiences on the edge of their seat right up until the final gripping conclusion. Running from Monday-Saturday, April 8-13, the cast includes Jonathan Wrather, most recently playing the controversial Pierce Harris in television's Emmerdale.

Box office 017687-74411.