Jonathan Miller to direct for Northern Broadsides

Published: 18 March 2012
Reporter: David Chadderton

Opera and theatre director and former Beyond the Fringe member Sir Jonathan Miller will direct Githa Sowerby's 1912 play Rutherford & Son for Halifax-based Northern Broadsides during the company's 20th anniversary season.

The play, set in 1890s industrial Yorkshire, is based around John Rutherford's battles with rebellious son and his daughter's scandalous love affair while trying to keep the family glassworks going. It will open at the Viaduct Theatre in Halifax in February 2013 before a national tour.

Northern Broadsides founder Barrie Rutter, who will play John Rutherford in the production, said, "Jonathan’s delight in the play and our home venue at Dean Clough, a former mill, is very fitting for the robust domestic and industrial battle that is at the heart of Rutherford & Son. He will be the company’s first guest director—a welcome and exhilarating influence."

Miller said, "I am absolutely thrilled and excited to be asked to direct Rutherford & Son for Northern Broadsides next year. It is also a huge delight to be once again working with Barrie Rutter, who I last worked together with at the RSC in the late eighties. Earlier this year Barrie invited me up to Halifax to visit Northern Broadsides’ home at the Viaduct Theatre in Halifax and I was totally overcome with the venue’s wonderful intimate performance space which is such an exciting challenge and delight for both a director and actor."

The casting for the production will be announced shortly.