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Rutherford and Son

Rutherford and Son

by Githa Sowerby

First staged in 1912 and described as "the most powerful play produced in England in this decade," Githa Sowerby's Edwardian classic on family and labour enjoyed huge success in London and New York before disappearing from view.

In a Northern industrial town, John Rutherford rules both factory and family with an iron will. But even as the furnaces burn relentlessly at the Glassworks, at home his children begin to turn against him.

Sowerby's astonishing play was inspired by her own experience of growing up in a family-run factory in Gateshead. Writing in 1912, when female voices were seldom heard on British stages, she now claims her place alongside Ibsen and Bernard Shaw with this searing depiction of class, gender and generational warfare.

This new edition was published to coincide with the National Theatre's revival in May 2019.

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