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Autumn 2014
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Beauty and the Beast
Coppélia
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The King Dances / Carmina burana
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Hobson's Choice story guide



ACT I  |  ACT II  |  ACT III


click here for a child friendly story guide.
(you will need Adobe Acrobat to view the printable story guide. If you do not have this installed please click here)

The ballet is set in Salford, Lancashire

Scene 1: Henry Hobson's boot shop
Henry Hobson, an inveterate drinker, is the proprietor of a successful boot shop. His younger daughters are Alice and Vickey. Alice is being courted by a young lawyer, the well-to-do Albert Prosser, and Vickey by Fred Beenstock, son of a local corn merchant. However, Hobson refuses to agree to give them in marriage as they are essential for his creature comforts and also provide him with cheap labour in his shop. It is his eldest daughter Maggie who is Hobson's greatest asset, though: she is a seemingly hard-headed and unsentimental woman of 30 and is considered an old maid by her father ­ who laughs out loud at Maggie's suggestion that she too may wish to marry some day. Mrs Hepworth, Hobson's wealthiest patron, visits the shop and inquires about some shoes she has purchased. Hobson's boot hand, Will Mossop, admits to the workmanship and Mrs Hepworth praises him, declaring that no-one but he shall make her shoes. Quick to see her main chance, Maggie later proposes to the astonished Will. He protests that he is only a boot hand and she is the Master's daughter; but Maggie brushes aside his objections and says what a good working partnership they will make.

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