Theatre review: “Hobson’s Choice” at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Natalie Graady as Maggie Hobson and Michael Shelford as Willie Mossop. Photo: Ian Tilton
Natalie Graady as Maggie Hobson and Michael Shelford as Willie Mossop. Photo: Ian Tilton

A play that has enjoyed countless revivals – and one still worth revisiting.

The place is Salford and the year is 1880 and widower Henry Hobson is struggling to handle his three grown-up daughters, each seeking a husband and an escape from the family-run boot makers shop. But with Hobson spending more time at the Moonraker’s pub than on the business of boots and clogs, the future prosperity of the family firm is held in the hands of his eldest daughter Maggie.

The father and his three daughters engage in a battle of the sexes that makes for good comedy, and it is the one who gets caught in the crossfire that draws the most laughs. Michael Shelford, making his Octagon debut, gives a gem of a performance as Willie Mossop who takes some persuasion but eventually marries Maggie (Natalie Grady).

She is the first to leave home, much to the consternation of father Henry (Maxwell Hutcheon) and it is the beginning of a downward spiral for her father, for whom eventually the boot is on the other foot!

You will find it is very easy to relax and enjoy this classic – it is on until February 22nd and tickets are available on 01204-520661.