For Love Or Money
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
This, sadly, is Barrie Rutter’s last touring show for Northern Broadsides, the Halifax-based company he founded 25 years ago. A satire about greed, lust and money, it’s based on a 300-year-old French satire called Turcaret, by Alain-René Lesage. Blake Morrison has devised a ribald script relocated to the Twenties and chock-full of lost Yorkshire-isms (tea is ‘chatter-watter’).
Rutter plays a corrupt provincial bank manager, Algy, who’s courting a broke widow (Sarah-Jane Potts). She is milking him for jewels and cheques.
There’s a spivvy doctor’s son who’s using her to get at the manager’s money, and a scheming servant who’s ‘out for himsen’. Algy’s fakeFrench wife (Sarah Parks, glorious) arrives late in the day to queer the pitch further.
It’s funny and also rather touching to watch Rutter, surrounded by his company, saying farewell in a really good comic part, delivered with his own brand of ever-audible gusto.