Star rating - 7/10
DH Lawrence is not everyone's cup of tea - his views on women sometimes feel dated at best, and some of his work has certainly caused more than a raised eyebrow amongst feminists at times. But in this 1912 play, currently being revived at the Crucible by director Paul Miller, and set in a small Derbyshire mining community, it is the women who deliver the strong, even dominant roles.
Mrs Gascoyne is very much a matriarch, but has recently had to give up her grip on her elder son Luther to his new wife Minnie. She does, however still have her younger son Joe still under her roof and her grasp. The opening scene between Joe and his mother, discussing the recent union of Luther and Minnie, is terrific. The air crackles with drama and wit, and the authentic East Midlands accents make the scene really come alive. Lynda Barron and Andrew Hawley are both absolutely excellent in their roles, as they debate the qualities of Luther's new wife. Mrs Gascoyne does not think much of her new daughter in law at all, and mocks her airs and graces.