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Hobson's Choice

Date

22nd February 2018

Society

St Ambrose Players Leyland

Venue

Halls for All Leyland

Type of Production

Play

Director

David White

Report

Author: Eddie Regan

The first English Production of  Harold Brighouse’s classic comedy was performed in London in 1916 and since then has been adapted for television and films. New versions have kept the story alive and there has been a 2016 revival at The Theatre Royal, Bath.

St Ambrose Players had the experienced and talented David White to direct this play and his enthusiasm for this script was reflected in the success of this well worked Production.

Congratulations must go to Stephen Porter for the projections of Northern life in the late 19th, Century, which set the scene for the audience before the curtains opened and for the atmospheric lighting throughout.. Graham Forrest and his team had, once again, designed, constructed and painted three distinctive scenes, which were an excellent backdrop for the actors.

The Interior of Hobson’s Shop, Will Mossop’s Cellar and Hobson’s living room were each well designed and dressed in the period and had been very well researched. A great deal of attention had been paid to make sure costumes, hair, accessories, and make up were appropriate for the era.

Steven Barnes played the role of the proud shop owner Henry Hobson with a strong, powerful interpretation showing his dominance over his family. His three daughters Alice, played by Emma Bailey, Vickey, Rachel Taylor and Maggie, Sarah White were convincing as three sisters who had their own opinions, ideas and convictions and they worked so well together with very good diction and projection. Sarah as Maggie held the stage at her every appearance and again showed her natural ability and versatility in this iconic role. Ian Spencer as Will Mossop showed the transformation from his timid character to successful and confident shop owner  with an assured performance.                                                                                                               I was delighted with the cameo role of Mrs Hepworth, played by Sheila Kenny. These smaller roles are so important to the overall success of any production.

I must congratulate Megan McCloy for her programme design and together with Sarah White, for informative content. St Ambrose’s programmes are always an interesting read and add to the enjoyment of the evening.

This Company has a reputation for choosing an eclectic mix of Plays and Musicals and I always look forward to my visits.

This was another special evening of Theatre by this talented Company.

Thank you for the warm welcome to my wife and myself.