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Rutherford and Son

by Githa Sowerby

16 May to 3 August 2019
Running Time: Approx 2 hrs 35 mins, inc. interval

Rutherford and Son

A piercing look at power and family.

Roger Allam (Les MisérablesThe Thick of It) returns to the National for the first time in a decade to play Rutherford in this new production directed by Polly Findlay (Beginning).

In a Northern industrial town, John Rutherford rules both factory and family with an iron will. But even as the furnaces burn relentlessly at the Glassworks, at home his children begin to turn against him.

Githa Sowerby’s astonishing play was inspired by her own experience of growing up in a family-run factory in Gateshead. Writing in 1912, when female voices were seldom heard on British stages, she now claims her place alongside Ibsen and Bernard Shaw with this searing depiction of class, gender and generational warfare. 

4 star rating

The entire cast is superb. Roger Allam gives a performance of understated intensity.

Evening Standard
4 star rating

Inspiring. A timely, memorable revival.

The Times
4 star rating

Atmospheric and powerful. Finally given the blockbuster production it always deserved.

Time Out
4 star rating

Roger Allam is magnificent

4 star rating

Compelling. Magnificent performances.


Rutherford and Son | About the play

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Rutherford and Son | Teaser trailer

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Rutherford and Son | Creating atmosphere with rain and music

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Rutherford and Son | Who was Githa Sowerby?

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Rehearsal Gallery

Rutherford and Son ticket prices and Access performances

Ticket prices

Monday - Thursday eves, all matinees

*£86, £66, £57, £46, £32, £15
Friday & Saturday eves
*£89, £69, £60, £52, £35, £18

Access Performances

Audio-described performances, for blind and visually impaired people:
Fri 28 June, 7.30pm
Sat 29 June, 2.15pm, preceded by a Touch Tour at 12.45pm

Captioned performances, for deaf or hard-of-hearing people:
Fri 14 June, 7.30pm
Mon 17 June, 7.30pm
Tue 18 June, 2.15pm

Smart caption glasses are available for all performances from 25 May


*Some of the best seats in the house are premium priced. They help to ensure we can continue to offer low price seats for all our productions; the National Theatre is a charity and only 17% government-funded. This year nearly 30% of our tickets are available for £20 or less.

Smart caption glasses

People wearing Smart Caption Glasses at a performance in the theatre

Smart caption glasses are a revolutionary new way for people with hearing loss to enjoy performances at the National Theatre. For the first time, service users can experience our productions, including this one, from any seat in any theatre.

Find out about smart caption glasses


John Rutherford
Roger Allam
Understudy Martin
Chris Anderson
Understudy Janet
Sue Appleby
Joe Armstrong
Understudy Richard/John Jnr
Joe Evans
Understudy John Rutherford
Nick Harris
Harry Hepple
Understudy Mary
Nicola May-Taylor
Understudy Ann/Mrs Henderson
Jules Melvin
Mrs Henderson
Sally Rogers
Sam Troughton
John Jnr
Sam Troughton

Production team




Sarah Dacey




Roshi Nasehi




Osnat Schmool








Sue Appleby




Jules Melvin




Nicola May-Taylor






Photography (Roger Allam) by David Stewart

Help Centre

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