Wednesday, April 03, 2013

'Rutherford & Son' by Githa Sowerby

3 April 2013

One of the highlights of our visit to the Edinburgh Fringe last August was Hannah Davies’ one-woman show ‘Githa’ which told the story of the early 20th century playwright Githa Sowerby and the amazing success of her first play ‘Rutherford & Son’ in 1912. So I was delighted to see that Northern Broadsides are touring a new production of ‘Rutherford & Son’, directed by Jonathan Miller, edited (and relocated from the North East to Yorkshire) by Blake Morrison and starring Northern Broadsides Artistic Director Barrie Rutter as the patriarchal tyrant John Rutherford. We saw the play at Watford Palace Theatre on Saturday and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a grim tale of a ruthless industrialist who has built a successful family firm (a glassworks) and rules over both the firm and his family with a fierce uncompromising determination. The plight of the women in the family in particular – whom Rutherford barely deigns to talk to – is emphasised by the gloom of the barely lit set. But the Northern Broadsides production manages to find humour amongst the desperation. And ‘Rutherford & Son’ has a very clever and well-plotted twist. An excellent play by a pioneering but largely forgotten female playwright.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home