Stephen Tompkinson will star in a major new touring production of Educating Rita.

Willy Russell’s much-loved play about a brash young hairdresser who discovers a passion for English literature will open at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick on 18 April 2019.

Tompkinson will play the role of English lecturer Frank with Jessica Johnson (Wire In The Blood (ITV), Coronation Street (ITV) and Cuckoo) cast in the role of Rita.

Stephen Tompkinson is known for his many television roles including five series of DCI Banks, four series of Trollied, seven series of Wild at Heart, six series of Drop the Dead Donkey and three series of Ballykissangel.

His theatre work includes Spamalot, Rattle of a Simple Man and Arsenic and Old Lace in the West End, Cloaca and A Christmas Carol (Old Vic), and national tours of Art and Tartuffe.

Russell’s touching and enduring comedy has delighted audiences around the world since it premiered in 1980 starring Julia Walters and Mark Kingston. Walter’s reprised her role in the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning film opposite Michael Caine.

The play is currently scheduled to visit The Lowry in Salford, Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre, Nottingham Theatre Royal, Theatre Clwyd in Mold, Bath Theatre Royal, Salisbury Playhouse, Exeter Northcott, Eden Court Theatre in Inverness, Wolverhampton Grand, Theatre Royal Wakefield, and Sheffield Lyceum.

Directed by Max Roberts, Educating Rita will have set and costume designs by Patrick Connellan, lighting design by Drummond Orr and sound design by David Flynn.

Further tour dates and casting to be announced.

For more tour information visit educatingrita.co.uk