Crucible return

The Daughter-in-Law, Crucible, Feb 27-March 23: Andrew Hawley as Joe
The Daughter-in-Law, Crucible, Feb 27-March 23: Andrew Hawley as Joe
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Bents Green lad Andrew Hawley is back on the Crucible stage for the second time in 10 years.

Andrew, aged 28, who went to High Storrs School, made his professional acting debut as a soldier in Anna Mackmin’s production of Greek tragedy Iphigenia a decade ago. He remembers: “We were on stage for five minutes. It’s nice to be back and have some lines!”

He co-stars with Open All Hours star Lynda Baron, Claire Price and Philip McGinley in DH Lawrence’s play The Daughter-in-Law. He plays Joe, the sparky younger brother of Luther, a newly-wed whose marriage is threatened when it turns out he has got someone else pregnant. The play is set in a Nottinghamshire pit village at the time of the 1912 strike. He said: “Joe is the youngest of six boys. He is the most spoilt, most likely because he has had everything handed to him. His mum (Lynda Baron) looks after him the most. He’s got this kind of fiery relationship with his mum.

“They thrive off winding each other up and pretending they can get rid of each other when they’ve no intention of doing so. It’s got similar themes to Sons and Lovers.”

Andrew got his first taste of drama while still at school, appearing in a version of Guys and Dolls in Sheffield Children’s Festival.

He was encouraged by High Storrs staff to apply to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, as older pupil Tom Ellis (Miranda Hart’s love interest Gary in her BBC sitcom Miranda) had gone there.

Andrew said before that he ran away to the circus – in Brazil – and trained as an acrobat for six months. He left drama school early to appear in Alan Bennett’s much-acclaimed play The History Boys in the West End when the actor playing the part left the cast. Director Nick Hytner later put him back in the role of Dakin for a national tour.

Andrew’s mum, Pauline Ellis, who is a teacher, still lives in Bents Green. His late dad John Hawley was a director of computer services at Sheffield University and has a sports pitch and a memorial garden named after him at the university’s Goodwin Sports Centre.

The Daughter-in-Law is at the Crucible until this Saturday.