It's Hobson's Choice whether to see comedy production

PUBLISHED: 12:57 07 February 2019

Lucy Hammond (Maggie), Peter Long (Will Mossop) and Peter Sowerbutts (Hobson) in RoughCast production of Hobson's Choice. Picture: RoughCast

Lucy Hammond (Maggie), Peter Long (Will Mossop) and Peter Sowerbutts (Hobson) in RoughCast production of Hobson's Choice. Picture: RoughCast

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Set up almost 20 years ago, RoughCast is set to kick off another busy year with a tour of evergreen boot shop-set comedy Hobson’s Choice.

Lucy Hammond (Maggie) and Peter Long (Will Mossop) in RoughCast production of Hobson's Choice. Picture: RoughCastLucy Hammond (Maggie) and Peter Long (Will Mossop) in RoughCast production of Hobson's Choice. Picture: RoughCast

Following last year’s acclaimed production of Measure for Measure, the popular local theatre company, who regularly stage productions in South Norfolk and North Suffolk, will return to comedy and intrigue but this time of a more gentle and down-to-earth variety.

Harold Brighouse’s immortal comedy begins in the well-established boot shop of Henry Horatio Hobson; so successful is his business that Hobson is content to drink away his days in the bar of the Moonraker’s Inn with his cronies.

As far as he is concerned, Hobson’s only worry is his “uppity” daughters who seek to curb his drinking. However, a real challenge to his authority and his livelihood arises when oldest daughter, Maggie, tired of shouldering both home and business responsibilities for her thankless father and lovestruck sisters, has a plan.

Much to the hilarity and consternation of her father, Maggie sets her sights on shy Will Mossop, Hobson’s master boot-maker.

Lucy Hammond (Maggie) and Peter Sowerbutts (Hobson) in RoughCast production of Hobson's Choice. Picture: RoughCastLucy Hammond (Maggie) and Peter Sowerbutts (Hobson) in RoughCast production of Hobson's Choice. Picture: RoughCast

RoughCast spokeswoman Pat Parris said: “Mossop is at first stunned by the suggestion, but eventually submits to Maggie’s powers of persuasion, and together they set up a rival boot shop.

“Brighouse’s comedy is as fresh, sharp and engaging now as the day it was first performed: we root for Maggie and Will as they take on the overbearing Hobson and the ‘Victorian values’ of everyone else to find success and, yes indeed, true love.”

The production’s tour starts at Old King’s Head in Brockdish on February 18 before taking in Beccles Public Hall on February 22, Garboldisham Village Hall on February 23, St Edmund’s Hall in Hoxne on February 24, Wingfield Barns on March 1, Halesworth The Cut on March 2, and Bungay Fisher Theatre on March 8-9.

Peter Sowerbutts plays irascible Hobson, with Lucy Hammond as Maggie and Peter Long as principal bookmaker Will Mossop.

Lucy Hammond (Maggie) and Peter Long (Will Mossop) in RoughCast production of Hobson's Choice. Picture: RoughCastLucy Hammond (Maggie) and Peter Long (Will Mossop) in RoughCast production of Hobson's Choice. Picture: RoughCast

The tour comes ahead of the company’s summer plans that will see them perform Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a play they last staged in 2005 when they completed their tour by taking it to France. They will be doing the same again in 2019. Dates and venues are yet to be confirmed.

• Booking details for Hobson’s Choice can be found at roughcast.co.uk

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