Matthew Townshend Productions presents a sparkling revival of one of the great classics of British Theatre, Harold Brighouse’s immortal Lancashire comedy Hobson’s Choice.
This fresh new production relocates from nineteenth century Salford to the year 1958. Rock and roll may have arrived, the youth revolution may be just around the corner, but in Henry Horatio Hobson’s shoe shop Queen Victoria might still be on the throne.
Their wireless and a secret treasured record player keep the three girls tuned to the hit parade, but when eldest daughter Maggie has had enough and breaks free, taking Willie Mossop the bootmaker with her, the younger sisters Vickey and Alice feel free to make their own escape from home and from ‘trade.’
John D Collins, best known for TV’s smash hit ‘Allo! ‘Allo!, plays Hobson. New songs by upcoming musicians Ben Goble with the Lockerbillies (Glastonbury 2017) echo the sounds of the time, from skiffle to Presley and from Doris Day to Jerry Lee Lewis. And with the voice talents of Lucy Robinson (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) as Mrs Hepworth.
Previous tours from mtp include Salad Days, Tomfoolery and Noel and Gertie. Hobson’s Choice is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Ltd.
Press for this production
Where Brighouse is so clever is that he makes every moment so satisfying and believable. And I should emphasise it is very, very funny… I urge you to go and see this production, if nothing else to see Mr Collins and the rather wonderful Rhiannon Sommers… The Brockley Jack Studio theatre is rightly becoming a beacon for all that is good in theatre ★★★★ London Pub Theatres
Brighouse’s themes of female business independence and inter-generational conflict over money and property remain as strong today as they were over a hundred years ago, as does his sparkling exchanges… So if you see one play in South East London this week, make it Hobson’s Choice ★★★★ Broadway World
Henry Hobson, played by John D Collins, gives a stomping performance… Maggie, played by Rhiannon Sommers, gives a superb performance as a straight-talking woman with a destination in sight… a delightful play and well worth seeing. Southwark News
Hobson’s Choice can still spring surprises. This it does from the very start of Matthew Townshend’s ebullient production…. This looks and sounds remarkably like the 1950s, complete with early jive dancing to the first raw twangs of rock ‘n’ roll. ★★★★ London Theatre1
John D Collins is excellent while Rhiannon Sommers (as Maggie) was just as good, in this lively and engaging version. David Vass, Corn Hall, Diss
For school party bookings, please email the Jack directly. Study resources are also available from the company on request.
Music by J.S & The Lockerbillies. Production images by Peter Clark.