Hobson's Choice | 3 Big Men ProductionsHobson’s Choice is a comedy by Harold Brighouse, with the title coming from the popular expression, meaning no choice at all. 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 into marrying her and setting up a shop of his own. Maggie and her two younger sisters, Alice and Victoria, have worked most of their lives in their father’s store without wages and are eager to be married and out of the shop. Between Maggie’s sales skill and Willie’s shoe making talent, the enterprise is very successful and, within a year, he has taken nearly all Hobson’s trade. At Maggie’s urging, Willie goes into partnership with Hobson, who’s told he’s to have no further say in the business and is obviously outraged, but what choice does he have?

Hobson’s Choice is easy, light entertainment and Richard Sarell (Director) ably assisted by Christine Dixon (Assistant Director) have done an outstanding job in keeping the text clear and bringing the best out of the wonderful cast. Caroline Lloyd (as Maggie Hobson), Ian Rooney (as Hobson) and Peter McTighe (as Willie Mossop) are likeable and fully engaging from start to finish. The rest of the cast, including Ami-Lou Sharpe, Kate Drougas, Ezra Bix, Sean Scully, Tobias Manderson-Galvin, Maggie Mendelert, Michael Collins, Karla Hillam and Ian Smith (of Neighbours fame), support the leads beautifully and each delivers a strong performance.

The musical direction by Ben Kiley is solid and Darren Mort, as producer, should be congratulated on a genuinely crowd-pleasing production. 3 Big Men Productions, established seven years ago by Darren, is clearly about entertaining an audience. With productions of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Six Degrees of Separation and now Hobson’s Choice under its belt, the company is developing a reputation for selecting great material, attracting experienced cast and crew, developing a loyal audience-base and involving a diverse range of committed sponsors (by the look of the program).

If you’re tired of the mediocre and want to see a slick piece of theatre performed well, Hobson’s Choice is definitely worth a look. It’s at Chapel off Chapel and runs until June 14.

3 Big Men Productions and the Rehearsal Room present
Hobson’s Choice
by Harold Brighouse

Venue: Chapel Off Chapel | 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran (Melways: Map 2L Ref J10)
Dates: 29 May – 14 June
Times: Tues – Sat 8pm; 7, 14 June 3pm; 1, 8 June 5pm
Tickets: $25 Full, $18 Concession, $20 Groups 10 + (+ booking fee)
Bookings: 03 8290 7000 or www.chapeloffchapel.com.au

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