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by Githa Sowerby

Written and first staged in 1912, this play was a major success in London and New York. It bears comparison with the best works of George Bernard Shaw, Henrik Ibsen and D.H. Lawrence.                         

In the play, John Rutherford, is the patriarchal owner of a northern glassworks whose world is crumbling. By ruling both factory and family with an iron will, he succeeds in alienating his family and they turn against him.

Sowerby’s great gift was for capturing a world in transition. Rutherford’s domestic tyranny is challenged just as in society the idea of a predominantly male suffrage was under threat and feminism was emerging. By the end, it is two of the female characters who stand up to Rutherford and manage to forge their own path away from domestic oppression towards a more enlightened future.


Sowerby also knew all about the working world she depicts. On the one hand, industry, symbolised by Rutherford, is seen as a monstrous god that requires human sacrifices. On the other, Sowerby reminds us this is a time of union militancy, new inventions and increasing American competition. It is that ability to pin down a moment of historic change that makes this play an important social document as well as a first-rate drama.


Director Gareth Hammond says “I saw this play performed at Oxford Playhouse several years ago and was so impressed I have wanted to put it on ourselves ever since. It is a powerful play, drawing us in to a world gripped by the divisive issues of class, gender and generational conflict. Even today we can recognise societies where women are still second-class citizens, tolerance is alien and authoritarianism prevails.”

We will follow all Government guidance in place at the time of the performance regarding any COVID-19 safety measures – please check our website regularly for updates.

Venue: Eynsham Village Hall, Back Lane, Eynsham, OX29 4QW

Dates: Wednesday 30th November, Thursday 1st December, Friday 2nd December and Saturday 3rd December 2022

Doors open: 7.00pm, Performance: 7.30pm

Price: £10.00 (no concessions)

Available: online from

in advance from Denise Santilli, 07721 744020

Evenlode DIY in Eynsham

or on the door



Our reviews are in and we are delighted with them!


"There can be few villages the size of Eynsham able to boast an amateur theatre company of the quality of its Bartholomew Players. Year after year they offer up one production after another of impressive calibre, and Rutherford and Son is no exception. Rutherford and Son was a particular joy to watch."

Heather Kay, Daily Info

Click here to read the full review.

"The whole play was expertly directed by Gareth Hammond and the parts all played well. The set, lighting, costumes and sound were all very good and appropriate creating a good atmosphere. Congratulations to all."

Nigel James, Oxfordshire Drama Network

Click here to read the full review.

"Director Gareth Hammond and the company should feel rightly proud of what they achieved here.  Bartholomew Players are fortunate to be able to draw on such a pool of creative and technical talent to present productions of such quality."

Andrew Walter, National Operatic and Dramatic Association


Click here to read the full review.



The audience feedback was just as encouraging:

"Interesting and gripping. Very good acting."

"Brilliant. Could hear every word. So creative."


"Powerful and still topical. Very strong final act."

"The play was absolutely brilliant - a true gem. Thank you. This was the most brilliant and inspirational performance."

"Different but so good. Brilliant acting. Atmospheric set. V good sound, light and refreshments."

"Excellent all round. Brilliant acting."

"Good play. Very good acting - best I've seen to date. Excellent set as always. Good sound and lighting. Always good refreshments."

Thank you to everyone who took the time to leave comments.

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