For Love Or Money

West York­shire Play­house, Leeds

The Mail on Sunday - Event - - THEATRE - north­ern-broad­

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.

Robert Gore-Lang­ton

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