DIRECTED by Don Hart
9th - Saturday 11th February 2006
Office : 020 8553 4466
Once again we have managed to obtain the first slot after the patomime, with Hobson's Choice by Harold Brighouse to be directed by Don Hart
This hugely successful comedy ranks among the great classice English plays of the 20th century. It is a large cast play for all ages with slmost equal mael and female parts.
First performed in 1915, Hobson's Choice has rarely been out of production somewhere in the world.
Set in late Victorian Salford, Manchester, the rich and wonderfully -written characters are the focus of this hugely entertaining and compelling drama. Henry Horatio Hobson, a wealthy widower tries to get the better of his three irrepressibley bumptious daughters.
The daughters run the shop and his home, leaving him free to spend most of his time getting drunk at the Moonrakers Inn. He decides that the two youngest and pprettiest girls, alice and Vicky, should marry - and they have no shortage of suitors.
When Hobson discusses his plans with his tradesmen cronies at the Moonrakers they worry him with talk of marriage settlements and he is reluctant to part with his money.
Maggie however rebels and sets out to woo her father's master bootmaker, the exceedingly shy Willie Mossop. She suggests that she and Willie set up their own in competition - horrified to hear that Maggie plans to wed his boot hand, Hobson treatens Willie who finally stands up to his boos. The borrow some money from Mrs Hepworth to buy a shop avove which they can live.
Hobson's home life begins to suffer - his younger daughters are far to preoccupied to cook and care for him as Maggie did. After getting excessively drunk one nights Hobson falls into the cellar of the corn merchant Beenstock. Next day Beenstock serves him with a summons for trespass and damage.
Hobson seeks Maggie's advice about the summons and is anxious not to have to spend money on a lawyer - a settlement is agreed upon which will cover her sisters' marriage settlements
Will is nervous about his wedding night and approaches it like a man going into battle. The next morning his first customer arrives to buy penny bootlaces. By the following winter the shop has been so successful that he has repaid the loan and has won over most of Hobson's customers.
To cut an amusing story short, Willie and Maggie offer Hobson a partnership only if he doesn't interfere with the running of the business.
Hobson's Choice remains as funny, poignant, radical and relevant as ever - a good choice for our February Production.