A Sheffield Theatres Production


By Githa Sowerby

8 – 23 February 2019

Director: Caroline Steinbeis; Designer: Lucy Osborne; Lighting Designer: Johanna Town

Composer: Oliver Vibrans; Sound Designer: Nick Greenhill; Casting Director: Vicky Richardson

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, Robert Hastie, today announces the full casting for Caroline Steinbeis’ major revival of Githa Sowerby’s Rutherford and Son. Steinbeis directs Esh Alladi (Richard), Laura Elphinstone(Janet), Brian Lonsdale (Martin), Marian McLoughlin (Ann), Ciarán Owens (John), Lizzie Roper (Mrs Henderson), Danusia Samal (Mary) and Owen Teale (Rutherford).

“No one’s any right to be what father is – never questioned, never answered back”

1912, the Industrial North

Rutherford is overbearing, dogmatic and disappointed. With three grown children and not one qualified to take over his family-owned glassworks, he rules his household with tyranny and disdain. Janet, John and Richard have dreams of their own but none can break free.

Mary is different. Married into the family and with ambitions for her son, she’ll untangle the ties that bind. Caroline Steinbeis directs Githa Sowerby’s celebrated classic about the struggle for supremacy, legacy and deciding one’s own destiny.

Githa Sowerby (1876 – 1970) was a British playwright whose first play Rutherford and Son was originally performed in 1912. Published under her initials GK Sowerby, it was assumed the writer was a man, until the press discovered her identity and Sowerby became an overnight celebrity and feminist icon as Rutherford and Son transferred into the West End. Her other plays included Before Breakfast, A Man and Some Women, Sheila, The Stepmother and The Policeman’s Whistle

Esh Alladi plays Richard. For theatre, his work includes Absolute Hell, The Beaux Stratagem, Dara (National Theatre), Twelfth Night (RSC), Lions and Tigers (Shakespeare’s Globe), Nell Gwynn (Shakespeare’s Globe & ETT), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Wolsey Theatre), The Home in Between (Theatre Royal Stratford East) and Wit (Royal Exchange Manchester). For television, his work includes A Confession, Apple Tree House and Houdini and Doyle; and for film Normal People and Christmas at the Palace.

Laura Elphinstone plays Janet. Her theatre credits include Young Marx (Bridge Theatre), My Country (National Theatre and tour), Jane Eyre (Bristol Old Vic and National Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Rose Theatre Kingston), The White Devil (RSC), Love and Information (Royal Court) and Top Girls (Chichester Festival Theatre and Trafalgar Studios). For television, her work includes Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, My Country, Vera, The Trail: A Murder in the Family, Call the Midwife, Wendy and Peter, and Esio Trot; and for film, Military Wives Choir, Peterloo, Leave to Remain and History Boys.

Brian Londsdale plays Martin. His theatre credits include Othello (ETT), My Romantic History, The Boy on the Swing (Live Theatre), Pound Look (Gala Theatre), Noises Off (Nottingham Playhouse/Nuffield Southampton Theatres), Martyr (Unicorn Theatre), War Horse (National Theatre), Diary of a Football Nobody (Nottingham Playhouse) and The Pitmen Painters (Duchess Theatre/ UK tour/ Manhattan Theatre Club, Broadway). For television, his work includes Hustle; and for film, The Other Possibility and Goal!.

Marian McLoughlin returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Ann – she previously appeared in Love and Information. Her other theatre credits include Edmond (Royal Court), After the Fall (National Theatre), Winter Solstice (ATC Theatre), The Girls (Phoenix Theatre), Henry V, Bartholomew Fair (National Theatre), The Playboy of the Western World (Riverside Studios) and Milkwood Blues (Lyric Studio, Hammersmith). Her television credits include Defending the Guilty, Le Cop, Spy, Doctors, Boomers, Truckers, Born to Run, Thin Ice, William and Mary, Home Time, Grafters, Kinsey and Castles.

Ciarán Owens returns to Sheffield Theatres to play John – he previously appeared in Love and Information. His other theatre credits include Tumulus (Vault Festival), Abigail’s Party (Theatre Royal Bath), The Brink (Orange Tree Theatre), Disco Pigs (JMK Winner – UK & Ireland tour), So Here We Are(Royal Exchange/HighTide), The Crocodile (Invisible Dot/Manchester International Festival), King John (Shakespeare’s Globe),  A Handful of Stars (Theatre503/Trafalgar Studios), Oh What a Lovely War (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Candide, Titus AndronicusA Mad World My Masters (RSC), Our Country’s Good (Out of Joint) and Mercury Fur (Old Red Lion/Trafalgar Studios). Television credits include The Last KingdomStrike BackCrazyheadArthur & GeorgeSpotless, Wallander and The Inbetweeners; and for film his credits include Red Joan and Where Hands Touch.

Lizzie Roper plays Mrs Henderson. Her theatre work includes The Libertine (Theatre Royal Bath), Julie Burchill: Absolute Cult (Gilded Balloon), Queen of the Nile (Hull Truck), Stepping Out (Salisbury Playhouse) and The Hairy Ape (Southwark Playhouse). Her television work includes Til Death Us Do Part, Boy Meets Girl, Hollyoaks (as series regular Sam Lomax), Call the Midwife, Dead Boss and Homeboys; and for film, Soul Reaper, The Arborand Angus, Things and Full Frontal Snogging.

Danusia Samal plays Mary. She is an actress, writer, and singer/songwriter. Her acting credits for theatre include How to Hold Your Breath, B (Royal Court Theatre), Two Noble Kinsmen, The Rover (RSC), The Odyssey(Shakespeare’s Globe), Billy the Girl (Soho Theatre) and The House That Will Not Stand (Tricycle Theatre). Her television credits include Tyrant; and for film her credits include Ghost in the Shell and My Friend the Polish Girl. She is a resident playwright with Tamasha and alumna of Soho Theatre’s Writer’s Lab. Other writing credits include Busking It (HighTide and Shoreditch Town Hall), Conditionally (Soho Theatre/Oxford School of Drama), Langthorne Stories (Soho Theatre/ Waltham Forest) and Las Americas Above (Chaskis Theatre).

Owen Teale plays Rutherford. His theatre work includes No Man’s Land (UK Tour andWyndham’s Theatre), The Broken Heart (Shakespeare’s Globe), Under Milk Wood, Mary Stuart, Macbeth (Theatr Clwyd), Creditors(Donmar Warehouse/Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York), The Dance of Death (Lyric Theatre), Ivanov(National Theatre), The Country (Royal Court) and A Doll’s House (Playhouse Theatre, West End and Broadway). For television, his work includes Deep State, Jerusalem, Pulse, Game of Thrones, River, Stella, Line of Duty, The Hollow Crown, Silk, Torchwood; and for film, Tolkein, Nocturne, The Fold, Hunky Dory, Love Me Forever, Conspiracy, King Arthur and Robin Hood.

Sheffield Theatres Associate Director Caroline Steinbeis directs, following her regional première production of Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information in the last season. She was the recipient of the 2009 JMK Award and was previously on attachment at the National Theatre and in 2008 completed the Director’s Course at the NT Studio. She was International Associate at the Royal Court under Dominic Cooke, developing and directing workshops and new plays from all over the world. Her previous credits include Edward II (Arts Theatre, Cambridge), The Tempest (Royal & Derngate), The Crucible and Brilliant Adventures (Royal Exchange Manchester), We Want You to Watch (National Theatre), The Broken Heart (Shakespeare’s Globe), Show 6 of Secret Theatre (Lyric Hammersmith), Talk Show, Mint and A Time to Reap (Royal Court), Earthquakes in London(National Theatre as Associate, and the UK tour director), Fatherland (Gate Theatre and Radical Jung Festival, Munich) and Mad Forest (BAC for which she won the 2009 JMK Award).


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