By the author of ‘Hindle Wakes’. The Forsythes are a well-to-do family in a North Country town in the early part of the nineteen hundreds. But speculation and bad investments cause their ‘ruin’ and it is left to a progressive Daughter-in-law to point the way to the future.
- John Westbrook as John Craven Forsyth
- Carole Carr as Mrs Forsyth
- Nicholas Curror as Edgar Forsyth
- Sally Eggington as Sidney Forsyth
- Martin Oldfield as Samuel Ritchie
- Tracey Burns as Jane Gregory
Sale & Altrincham Messenger’s Review by Rick Bowen
A right good night at the Garrick
By ‘eck, they don’t write ’em like this anymore. Therein lies the contradiction – while #Independent Means# was first performed in 1909 it’s remarkable how fresh and modern it sounds to a 21st century ear. Ashton on Mersey born Stanley Houghton may depict a Manchester that has long since vanished, but this play, currently being performed at Altrincham Garrick, was, in many ways, years ahead of its time. This is such a lively and warmly witty piece of writing I can forgive Houghton for the dull as dishwater Hindle Wakes. The Forsyths are a comfortable middle class family whose cosy lifestyle is shattered when they lose their wealth. The head of the household, John Craven Forsyth, turns to the bottle for comfort, while his son Edgar and his feisty wife Sidney turn to Forsyth family friend Samuel Ritchie, your archetypal self made man, for help. Director Barry Hall’s production is perfectlly pitched and there are some wonderful performances to enjoy from Martin Oldfield as Ritchie, a sobering voice of reason and calm and Sally Egginton as Sidney, a woman who steadfastly refuses to be the ‘little wife’. I also liked Nicholas Curror as the useless Edgar and Tracey Burns as the Forsyth’s devoted maid Jane, a woman whose life is radically transformed for the better.
An absolute gem of a play from a home grown talent, a must see. Star Rating ★★★★
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