Harold Brighouse’s Northern masterpiece is so familiar to audiences that they don’t just anticipate the laughs, they sometimes beat the cast to them, as the story of an ambitious Salford shoemaker’s daughter gets itself all laced up again.
Few theatregoers here then will feel short-changed, even if the production is not yet fully the sum of its parts.
Natalie Grady, in the central role, again bares her teeth and gets them squarely into a character not dissimilar to the one that won her an award in D H Lawrence’s The Daughter In Law a few years ago. Opposite her, as the hapless husband-to-be, Michael Shelford is an effectively doe-eyed Will Mossup.
Both roles may fit them like a ‘purr uv noo boots’, but Maxwell Hutcheon, as the feckless patriarch Henry Hobson, has not yet quite found the right shoe size for such a boisterous character.
Several more familiar faces make up the rest of a large cast, all destined to appear in the following production of Twelfth Night.
From Cross Street, Salford, to cross-gartered in Illyria . . . in just a few short steps!