When looking back though the theatre archives it appears that the upcoming production of Hobson’s choice is only the second time that it has been performed on our little stage. The previous production was held over 30 years ago in May 1991, in which the piece took us right back to the 1800s when the play is set.
Tony Turner the production’s director has taken the time to write a short Biography of Brighouse and to outline his vision into what to expect when coming to see our new production of this classic piece.
“The playwright, Harold Brighouse, was born in Eccles in 1882. His father was the manager of a cloth mill and Harold followed him into the textile industry. Gaining a scholarship to Manchester Grammar School, he began his studies but left at 17 years to take up a position in London. During this period Brighouse was active in theatre, in Manchester, The Gaiety Theatre was an acknowledged portal for many fine Northern repertory companies. His first production, The Doorway, was performed at the Gaiety in 1909.
During his time in London, he visited the Court Theatre in Sloane Square, later the Royal Court, and undoubtedly witnessed more radical productions by Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen and Shaw.
In the 1960s, the radical tradition was continued with performances by Pinter, Beckett and Osbourne et al.
It is inconceivable that, given his sharp ear for a sub text, he was unaware of the Suffrage movement in Manchester and the radical nature of The Court productions. Our contention is that all these concepts are there in Hobson’s Choice but have often been overlooked in favour of a more “broad comedic “ appeal.
In our production we have attempted to pull together the disparate strands of the three sisters and as the women grow in strength, now refusing to be cowed by Hobson, Maggie grows in confidence and righteous anger as she confronts and overcomes her misogynistic father.
We hope you appreciate this other light we are casting on Hobson’s Choice.”
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