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Hobson's Choice by Harold Brighouse

posted 10 Apr 2011, 07:38 by Unknown user   [ updated 10 Apr 2011, 07:44 ]

Harold Brighouse wrote “Hobson’s Choice” in 1915. Then modern, nowadays this gentle comedy about a bullying father with three daughters is a period costume play. Yet it has not dated, (any more than the famous “King Lear” has done!).and is as funny and popular as it was 96 years ago. Appreciative Lutterworth audiences at the Wycliffe Drama Group’s production thought so.

Henry Hobson, (Keith Parkin, always best in comedy), tries to bully his daughters, but with little success. The eldest, Maggie, (a nicely bossy Kate Gamble) controls her two younger sisters Alice, (Becky Harwood) and Vickey, (Jacqui Cottrell) like a benign dictator, even arranging their marriages. However when Henry starts bullying Will Mossop, his boothand, who makes the best boots in Salford but is too humble and self-effacing to realise his worth, Maggie decides to marry him, carry him off and effect the transformation of which he is capable. Paul Jackson showed acting skill as Will gained confidence and love grew between this unlikely pair. On the way there were laughs galore.

Each member of the cast of twelve were perfect in their role, and I loved the silent vignettes between the final two scenes. Possibly put in to cover a long scene change, all the cast took part and were able to show their versatility and comic talents in these scenes from Salford life. I enjoyed the weddings between Alice and Vickey and their suitors Albert Prosser (Richard Holyoak) and Fred Beenstock (Russell Grant).

A nice touch in a carefully directed play, well up to WDG’s standard.

Vivien Window