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The Crescent Theatre, Sheepcote Street, B16 8AE Birmingham, United Kingdom
‘Hobson’s Choice’ by Harold Brighouse
Ron Barber Studio: 11th – 25th November 2017
Tuesday 29 August 7.30pm (Rehearsal Room)
Thursday 31 August 7.30pm (Committee Room)
Saturday 2 September, call-back if required
Rehearsal days: Tuesdays (7.30pm), Thursdays (7.30pm), Sundays (10.00am)
Written in 1916, Brighouse’s play has become a classic English comedy. It is set in Salford, Lancashire, in 1880 and I am looking for a cast that will work collaboratively to capture the feeling of the time and place. There are 12 characters (7m, 5f) providing a good spread in terms of size of role. There are particularly strong female roles. The play was once taught very extensively as a post-16 examination text so I am hoping to evoke nostalgic reminiscences in at least a part of our audience.
A Brief Synopsis (although I would urge you to familiarise yourself with the play before auditioning)
A timid, unassuming, but skilful young man (Willie Mossop), is married, somewhat against his will, to his boss’s efficient and determined eldest daughter (Maggie Hobson) — at her instigation! Under her influence, he develops in ability, confidence and authority until he takes over the business from his tyrannical employer (Henry Hobson) and sees his marriage mature into an affectionate partnership.
(nb. These character notes are a starting point for development only; playing ages given are those in the text but I am open to adjusting them)
Henry Hobson (55).
A flourishing bootmaker in Salford, 1880; well-respected in the community; a mason; ‘successful, coarse, florid’; a ‘parent of the period’; a widower with three daughters; full of his own importance yet fawning towards the wealthy; stubborn, self-opinionated and an arrogant bully.
Maggie Hobson (30).
Hobson’s eldest daughter: incredibly strong, forceful, practical and determined. Works unpaid for her father in the shop but virtually runs the business — the driving force behind his success.
William Mossop (30).
The most junior of Hobson’s workers but a skilful and talented craftsman – ‘not naturally stupid but stunted mentally by a brutalised childhood. He is a raw material of a charming man’. Humble, self-effacing; developing in strength throughout the play, finally to dominate his surroundings.
Alice Hobson (23).
Hobson’s second daughter; works unpaid for her father; fashionable, tending towards snobbishness and arrogance, keen to be married; no real interest in the business.
Vickey Hobson (21).
Hobson’s youngest daughter; ‘very pretty’, fashionable like her sister; not much interested in remaining as an unpaid, although not altogether efficient, worker in her father’s business; accused with her sister Alice of ‘uppishness’
Albert Prosser (26).
Son of an established local solicitor. Well off; suitor to Alice.
‘The respectable son of a respectable tradesman’, good-looking and attractive; suitor to Vickey.
A much prized customer of Hobson; ‘an old lady with a curt manner and good clothes’. Highly respected; wealthy; a forceful and assertive woman.
Timothy (‘Tubby’) Wadlow.
One of Hobson’s workmen; a long-term employee; extremely loyal.
A grocer, Hobson’s boon companion; fellow drinker in The Moonraker’s pub.
Ada Figgins (20).
‘A weak, poor-blooded, poor-spirited girl’. Daughter of Willie’s landlady; she and Willie are ‘tokened’ at the beginning of the play.
Dr MacFarlane (50).
‘A domineering Scotsman’!
At the audition there will be a familiarisation with opportunities to ask questions. You will then be asked to work in pairs to read one of the extracts supplied.
If you are unable to attend the audition dates and would like to make alternative arrangements, or if you wish to ask further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me on:
or 07787 545253.
Les Stringer (Director)