Hobson’s Choice June 1995

Hobson’s Choice is a play by Harold Brighouse, the title coming from the popular expression, Hobson’s choice — meaning no choice at all. The play was first produced in America, the first English production being on June 22 1916 in London. The story is set in Salford in 1880.


The plot revolves around Willie Mossop, a gifted, but unappreciated shoemaker employed by the domineering Henry Horatio Hobson. Semi-literate and content with his lot, he is bullied by Hobson’s eldest daughter, Maggie (over the hill by Victorian terms at the ripe old age of 30), into marrying her and setting up in a shop of his own. Maggie and her two younger sisters Alice and Victoria (Vickey) have worked most of their lives in their father’s store without wages and are eager to be married and out of the shop. Alice is engaged to Albert Prosser, a young up-and-coming solicitor, and Vickey to Fred Beenstock, son of a respectable corn merchant. Between her sales skill and his shoemaking talent, Maggie and Willie’s enterprise is very successful and, within a year, he’s taken nearly all Hobson’s trade. At Maggie’s urging, Willie goes into partnership with Hobson, now an almost-bankrupt alcoholic, on condition that Hobson take no further part in the business.


Alice Hobson – Carole Perry

Maggie Hobson – Lauren Bachman

Vicky Hobson – Pippa Ryan

Albert Prosser – Geoff Smith

Henry Hobson – Graham Hunt

Mrs Hepworth – Di Salter

Timothy Wadlow (Tubby) – Doug Young

William Mossop – Scott Turnbull

Jim Heeler – Philip Collins

Ada Figgins – Ellen Wallace

Fred Beenstock – Mike Chilestone

Dr Mac Farlane – Aidan Hervey



Director – Glenys Shaw

Producer – Roger Wood

Stage Manager – Jim Shadlock

Lighting – Martin Inward

Costumes – St Neots Music Hall Society

Set Dresser – Rita Coleman