Hobson's Choice (1985)
Directed by David Hickman
The action take place in Salford, Lancashire in Victorian England.
- Act I - Hobson's shop in Chapel Street.
- Act II - The same, one month later.
- Act III - Will Mossop's shop.
- Act IV - Living room of Hobson's shop - one year later.
- Alice Hobson - Jo Archer
- Maggie Hobson - Maggie Cearns
- Vicky Hobson - Jenny Ford
- Albert Prosser - Quinton Cobby
- Henry Horatio Hobson - Ken Lucas
- Mrs Hepworth - Frances Walker
- Tuppy Wadlow - Charlie Cheetham
- Willie Mossop - Martin Leech
- Jim Heeler - Bernard Witt
- Ada Figgins - Heather Rodger
- Fred Beenstock - Paul Campion
- Dr Macfarlane - Duncan McNaughton
- Production Assistant - Sue Leaker
- Stage Manager - Julie Howcutt
- Deputy Stage Manager - Christine Page
- Assistant Stage Managers - Lisa Barden, Janet Jordan, John Kidd, Richard Lilley, Sharon Pidgeon, Sarah Roseveare, Julie Seddon & Roy Southin
- Set Design - Jonathan Silver, Keith Borgust & Peter Rochford
- Lighting - Richard Wood
- Sound - Mark Ahearn
- Set Building - Nigel Howcutt, David Groves & Adrian Hogan
- Wardrobe - Elaine Valleau
- Set Painting - Mary Gambrill, Michael Boylan, Peter Cunningham, Rhona Murphy & Albert Tesei
.......David Hickman's production for the SLTC is at the Bell Theatre and in Maggie Cearns it boasts a Maggie Hobson of natural authority, a determined lady whom it is a joy to follow through her courtship of and marriage to her father's put upon bootmaker. She handles the role with a considerable skill, portraying a warm-hearted character whose main mission in life is not to crush her husband but to bring out his own latent powers.
Martin Leech is a likeable Willie Mossop, although too prone to blend into the background and without clear line of development from wage-slave to master.......... Helped on his way by the acid cameo of Duncan MacNaughton as the forthright Dr MacFarlane, Ken Lucas's Hobson collapses nicely from blustering bully to beaten pater-familias. Yet a more deliberate style would help to flesh out the character, a less staccato line of attack. The pomposity tends to be smothered by the blazing guns.
Jo Archer and Jenny Ford give good value as Maggie's two feckless sisters and there is a general level of competence in the suporting cast, with particularly solid performances by Quinton Cobby and Paul Campion as the two suitors who just about deserve the lesser Hobsons they bring to the altar.
Donald Madgwick - the Croydon Advertiser, reprinted in SCENE by permission of the editor.
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