At A Glance
Event Date: Thu 27 October 2022Event Time: 19:30 hrsVenue: Bingley Little TheatreRunning Time: TBCOrder Tickets: 06/08/2022 to 20/09/2022Cost: £19.00
Githa Sowerby’s astonishing play was inspired by her own experience of growing up in a family-run factory in Gateshead. Writing in 1912, when female voices were seldom heard on British stages, she claims her place alongside Ibsen and Shaw with this searing depiction of class, gender, and generational warfare.
In 1885: John Rutherford, a northern capitalist, and the head of the family glassmaking business, wants to pass the
business on to his oldest son, also named John.
After spending time in London, where John Junior marries Mary, a working-class woman,
he returns to the family home with his wife and new baby son. His return disturbs the
balance of power: his homecoming is a catalyst that will have far reaching consequences
for all the family.
In the family home, Rutherford Senior rules with absolute authority and his will is
imposed with a rod of iron. He tyrannises a household that includes his sister Ann, and
his other children, Richard, a curate, and the unmarried Janet.
The family business is ailing. Rutherford is having to placate the banks and an impatient
board of directors. He is under pressure to ensure the survival of the company.
Is there a way out?
Has John Junior stumbled upon an ingenious solution that would transform the
The ensuing power struggle between the tyrannical father, his children and his faithful
factory manager, Martin, wreaks havoc.
The world as Rutherford knows it is changing: the hierarchy is shifting and the
relationship between a dominant Victorian father and his more liberal Edwardian children is being challenged.
Each of the family siblings wants to free themselves from the suffocating prison that is their family home. But will
their desire to explore their roles in society and assert their independence have devastating consequences for John
Rutherford Senior…and the family business?