FOLLOWING on from Sheffield Theatres’ Christmas musical My Fair Lady, the Crucible Theatre opens its spring season with a major revival of DH Lawrence’s rarely performed tour de force, The Daughter-in-Law next week.
From one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, best known for his novels, The Daughter-in-Law explores the bonds between a mother and her sons, between husband and wife, between desire and freedom as they are stretched to breaking point.
Lynda Baron, still best known for Open All Hours, the sitcom starring Ronnie Baker, leads the cast as Mrs Gascoyne, the overbearing mother who disapproves of her socially ambitious daughter-in-law Minnie, played by Claire Price, winner of the UK Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actress in The Pride, one of several Crucible appearances in recent years.
Another Crucible regular, Philip McGinley (Straight, Hobson’s Choice), is newlywed miner Luther Gascoyne, and former High Storrs student Andrew Hawley comes back to his home town to play his brother Joe, Marlene Sidaway, recently one of the Witches in Macbeth at the Crucible, as Mrs Purdy and David Chafer (Lives in Art) as Cabman complete the cast.
The play was previously seen in what was described as “a landmark hothouse” production in the Crucible Studio in 1985. The new version is directed by Paul Miller, with design from Simon Daw and lighting by Mark Doubleday, all of whom were last in Sheffield with Michael Frayn’s Democracy, which transferred to the West End last year.
Lawrence’s text is rich in Nottinghamshire dialect so voice coach Charmian Hoare has been playing a vital role in rehearsals. Completing the creative team is composer Terry Davies (Iphigenia).
The Daughter-in-Law has a public dress rehearsal on Wednesday when tickets are £1 followed by three preview nights and then it runs until March 23.