Three summers ago, critics were raving about Manchester Royal Exchange’s revival of Hobson’s Choice starring Joanna Riding, and a West End run was widely tipped (See The Goss, 26 Jun 2003). In the event, that transfer never materialised. This summer, critics are raving about another production of Harold Brighouse's classic 1916 comedy, this time starring Anna-Jane Casey at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury. Set in 1880s Salford, Hobson's Choice revolves around cantankerous and obstinate boot shop owner Henry Hobson who's trying to get the better of his three irrepressibly bumptious daughters. Eldest daughter Maggie (Casey) has a head for business and a will of her own. When she strikes up an unusual partnership with lowly bootmarker Willie Mossop, sparks fly. Some critics have already written a transfer for Timothy Sheader’s Watermill production into the script: “Good enough for the West End?” asked Patrick Marmion concluding his four-star review in the Daily Mail. “You could say it’s a shoe-in.” We think Hobson's Choice deserves a transfer if only to get Anna-Jane Casey an overdue West End lead. Her last two stage productions – musicals Mack and Mabel and Sunday in the Park with George - have both transferred to the West End without her (owing to her unavailability rather than her unsuitability, of course!). If you don’t want to run the risk of missing Hobson's Choice this time around, in case another transfer fails to materialise, get yourself down to Newbury this week. It finishes there on Saturday 8 July 2006.