Katherine Githa Sowerby (1876-1970) was born in Gateshead, England, into a glass-making family. She was an English playwright, children's writer, feminist and member of the Fabian Society. Her father, John G. Sowerby, was an artist and grandson of naturalist James Sowerby, and her mother was Amy Margaret Sowerby (née Hewison). Sowerby married John Kendall and her daughter, Joan Smith, still lives in London.
Rutherford & Son was a "sensation" and a "massive success" in its 1912 London debut, running for 133 performances in London and 63 performances in New York. Literary critic Barrett Harper Clark, writing in 1915, declared it "among the most powerful works of the younger generation". It was also produced in Canada and Australia, and translated into numerous other languages, including German, French, Italian, Russian, and Bohemian. Originally produced under the pen name "G. K. Sowerby", it was only later revealed that the author of the hit play was a woman; Sowerby then achieved instant celebrity. Sowerby's writing was compared to Henrik Ibsen's at that point, while known only by the gender-neutral initials "G. K."
In our production of this historically important play John Still plays the formidable Rutherford, "a bull-headed capitalist who crushes his own children beneath the wheels of industry". John has most recently appeared for Whitefield Garrick in The Ghost Train, Aristocrats and The Miser.
The play opens revealing that Rutherford has built a glassmaking business which he has always intended to pass onto his son, John but to his disgust John has turned his back on the business and has gone to London, to marry a working class girl...