I went to the Royal Exchange to watch Hobson’s Choice. It is a hilarious comedy adapted brilliantly by Tanika Gupta. It has been reimagined for an Asian family in Manchester.
This play is bursting with energy and heart. The story follows a tailor shop businessman who has 3 daughters that want to break free of his rules in the house. There are many different storylines interweaving in this layered comedy. The style and the text was similar to a heart warming sitcom you watch with the family. The dialogue at times is just laugh out loud comedy, I loved the brilliant one liners that are delivered by a very strong cast.
Tony Jayawardena plays the very charismatic Hari Hobson. He has a great stage presence and his comedy is perfect. I really loved his character and I cared for him a lot, however he wasn’t perfect! The three daughters were played very well by Safiyya Ingar, Maimuna Memon and Shalini Peitis.Each character was very individual and they all had their unique comedic style. Esh Alladi created a hilariously nervous character that does what he’s told by Durga. However each character develops as time passes which is very satisfying to watch. In the second act the theme also developed into what a daughter will do for their father which was so touching to watch.
Hobson’s Choice is directed very well by Atri Bangerjee. It is a true feat to direct the action to all sides of the audience. I never felt like I missed out on anything which is very impressive. The scenes were vibrant and were packed with pace and energy. The set design by Rosa Maggiora was very creative and I enjoyed the street lamps around the side. The costumes were stunning and were very multicultural. I couldn’t think of a better theatre to put this in!
The start to the Second Act was very clever and it immerses you back into their world. There was some really nice audience participation involved as well. This comedy also has drama beneath it which grounded it in real life.
Hobson’s Choice is a 4 star play filled with warmth, heart and fun. You will be laughing one minute, then you will be touched by the different relationships.
Hobson’s Choice is at the Royal Exchange until 6th July! Don’t miss this multicultural fresh comedy!
Have you been to the Royal Exchange? Feel free to comment below or message me on Instagram @unofficialtheatre
Thanks for reading!