Claire Price excels in The Daughter-in-Law as Sheffield Crucible

The Daughter-in-Law:  Claire Price,  in the lead role as Minnie, the socially ambitious daughter-in-law, at The Crucible, Sheffield, until March 23.
The Daughter-in-Law: Claire Price, in the lead role as Minnie, the socially ambitious daughter-in-law, at The Crucible, Sheffield, until March 23.
0
Have your say

D H Lawrence’s plays are rarely produced these days, and even less frequently in his lifetime. The Daughter-in-Law didn’t get its first outing till more than half a century after he wrote it – perhaps because it resembles 1960s kitchen sink drama more closely than the more colourful theatre of its time.

D H Lawrence’s plays are rarely produced these days, and even less frequently in his lifetime. The Daughter-in-Law didn’t get its first outing till more than half a century after he wrote it – perhaps because it resembles 1960s kitchen sink drama more closely than the more colourful theatre of its time.

Now more than a century old, it’s revived as part of Sheffield Crucible’s spring season, with a top class cast and a wonderful two-part revolving set that reflects the tensions of the storyline.

Claire Price excels as Minnie, the daughter-in-law of the title, a new wife with a keen brain, a little money of her own and ambitions for Luther (played by PhilipMcGinley) her easily satisfied husband.

As Luther’s mother, Lynda Baron is indomitable, redoubtable, formidable: all the qualities you might expect, both from this splendid actress and from one of Lawrence’s maternal figures.

The tension between these two underpins the storyline; precipitated into action when Luther’s past catches up with him, they battle for his loyalty while he looks on, almost bemused. Incidental characters, brother Joe (Andrew Hawley) and neighbour Mrs Purdy (Marlene Sidaway), provide additional story threads, and the violent miners’ strike of 1912 forms a backcloth, but the main theme is typically Lawrentian: the emotional undercurrents joining and separating strong women and laid-back men.

It runs until March 23.