Sheffield Theatres begins rehearsals for Hobson’s Choice at the Crucible Theatre

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Barrie Rutter, Artistic Director of Halifax-based Northern Broadsides, takes the lead role as Henry Horatio Hobson in Hobson’s Choice at the Crucible Theatre. The production will be directed by Christopher Luscombe, making his directorial debut at Sheffield Theatres. The production opens Wednesday June 1with previews from Thursday 26 May.

Henry Horatio Hobson, widower, lives above his boot shop with his three independent daughters. When his eldest girl Maggie, decides to set up a business to rival his own, stealing his best bootmaker in the process, Hobson’s life is set to change forever.

One of the most popular plays of the last century, Harold Brighouse’s brilliantly observed northern comedy is about growing up, moving on and getting out.

Barrie Rutter leads the company as Henry Horatio Hobson. He will be joined by Rod Arthur (Tubby Wadlow), Emily Aston (Ada Figgins), Cassie Atkinson (Alice Hobson), George Banks (Fred Beenstock), Robin Cameron (Dr MacFarlane), Lennox Greaves (Jim Heeler), Sally Hodgkiss (Vickey Hobson), Philip McGinley (William Mossop), Sue Wallace (Mrs Hepworth), Zoe Waites (Maggie Hobson) and Harry Waller (Albert Prosser).

Barrie Rutter is the founder and Artistic Director of Northern Broadsides theatre company. His theatre credits for Northern Broadsides as both Director and Actor include Othello (West Yorkshire Playhouse and tour), Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, King Lear and Twelfth Night. His other stage credits include Guys and Dolls, Animal Farm and The Crucible (National Theatre), The Jew of Malta and Temptation (Royal Shakespeare Company) and A Winter’s Tale (Young Vic). For television, his credits include The Liver Birds, Porridge, Kavanagh QC and as series regular Douglas in ITV’s Fat Friends.

Zoe Waites plays Maggie Hobson. Her theatre credits include Hedda Gabler (Theatre Royal Bath and Tour), Mrs Klein, The Play About the Baby (Almeida), Nicholas Nickleby (Chichester and West End), Cyrano De Begerac (Bristol Old Vic), Pravda (Chichester and Birmingham Rep), The Scarlet Letter, King Lear (Chichester), Breaking The Code (Theatre Royal Northampton), Antigone (Royal Albert Hall), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (City of London Sinfonia), Night of the Soul, The Prisoner’s Dilemma, Twelfth Night, Othello, The Family Reunion, Romeo and Juliet (all RSC), The White Devil (Lyric Hammersmith) and Hamlet (Greenwich and West Yorkshire Playhouse).

Sue Wallace plays Mrs Hepworth. Sue returns to the Crucible having previously worked with Victoria Wood in Good Fun, a relationship which has lead to numerous projects together including Victoria Wood As Seen On TV, Pat and Margaret, Dinnerladies, House Wife 49 and Happy Since I Met You. Her theatre credits include Romeo and Juliet (New Victoria Theatre), Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare’s Globe), Pygmalion (Royal Exchange Theatre), East is East (Birmingham Rep) and Hay Fever (Chichester Festival Theatre). For television, her credits include series regular in Common As Muck, Bergerac, Making Out and Coronation Street.

Emily Aston plays Ada Figgins. Her theatre credits include Billy Liar (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Rita Sue & Bob Too/A State Affair (UK Tour), So Special (Royal Exchange) and The Lovers (Live Theatre). For television, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and as Becky Palmer in Coronation Street.

Christopher Luscombe makes his directorial debut for Sheffield Theatres. His recent credits include Spamalot (UK Tour), The History Boys (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Tour), The Rocky Horror Show (West End and UK Tour). His other credits include The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare’s Globe), Tell Me On A Sunday (UK Tour), Little Shop of Horrors (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Masterpieces (Birmingham Rep), The Importance of Being Earnest (Theatre Royal Bath) and The Shakespeare Review (RSC).

Harold Brighouse (1882 – 1958) was an English playwright and author. His other plays include Lonesome-Like, Graft, The Game, The Northerners, Zack and Once a Hero.

Designs are by Janet Bird, with lighting by Paul Pyant and music and sound is by Alex Baranowski.