RUTHERFORD AND SON
Lace Market Theatre
The play that was a 1912 west End smash hit would today be classed as one of those classic kitchen sink dramas, a kind of cross between Coronation Street and Downton Abbey.
Rutherford, has built up a glassmaking business which he has always intended to pass onto his son, John. To his father's disgust, John married a working class girl, Mary. John has invented a "new metal" which he feels could save the industry a lot of money but Rutherford wants it all for himself but John wants to sell the metal to him. It's this, along with his discovery that his daughter, Janet, is also seeing one of Rutherford's workers, Martin that pushes him over the edge and he bans Janet from the home and sacks Martin.
Rutherford manages to drive all three of his children from the family home, but someone has a deal for Rutherford that he can't refuse!.
Set in Yorkshire, the accents were spot on and with all north of Watford dramas, reality was the key here. A very enjoyable play and with this being one of those little known gems that the Lace Market seem to pride themselves on finding and presenting, I had no knowledge or expectation of what was to come, and I was pleasantly surprised.
All of the cast were excellent, but I did have a soft spot for the lovely Carol Parkinson, who played Mrs Henderson, the mother of one of Rutherford's workers suspected of stealing from him, who came to plead for his re instatement of his labour; a wonderful character piece.
it takes a good actor to make you start to hate a character but Geoff Longbottom succeeded to do this as Rutherford,and frustration with John, played by Sam Allison. It was good to see George Page-Bailey play a non comic role, as the last time I saw him on stage was in "Black Comedy", but you can also catch him in the upcoming "Private Peaceful".
Classy and thought provoking work, you can see "Rutherford and Son" at the Lace Market Theatre until Saturday 21 June.