Hobson’s Choice, Vaudeville Theatre, 2016

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This is the centenary tour of Hobson’s Choice, but I have to say that it doesn’t show its age. Martin Shaw is very good in the title role, it requires a blustering, exaggerated performance and you can see he is enjoying himself here.

Really though, the play is all about Maggie. Naomi Frederick is excellent, she plays it totally straight and carries it off perfectly. Bryan Dick puts in a great performance as Willie, his transformation is both funny and credible.

The sets are relatively simple but beautifully made, and the direction is uncomplicated. They allow the real stars of the show to shine through and they are the words. It is a fantastically written comedy drama, with great individual lines and genuinely funny characters. It is easy to see why it is still regularly produced even one hundred years after it was written. This is a production by people who really love Harold Brighouse’s play and that care shines through on the stage.

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