Githa Sowerby (1876-1970) was born and grew up at Low Fell, Gateshead and later at Chollerton, Northumberland. She was the daughter of glass manufacturer John G. Sowerby, whose Gateshead based company, Sowerby and Co. had been passed down from his father and grandfather. In 1896, following financial problems and clashes with the Company Directors, the Sowerbys moved south to Colchester. Githa was the second of five daughters and had one brother, the eldest child, John Lawrence. Githa moved to London in 1905 where she became active in the Fabian Society and wrote short stories and children’s books illustrated by her sister Millicent including a series of Little Plays for Little People (1910). In 1912, aged 36, she married Major John Kendall (1869-1952) a poet, playwright and journalist, who had served in the Indian army. Her other plays include the one-act Before Breakfast (published,1913); Jinny (unpublished, 1914); a revised A Man and Some Women (unpublished, 1914); Sheila (unpublished, 1917); The Stepmother (1924, published by The Women’s Press in Toronto, 2008, alongside a revival directed by Joanna Falk for The Shaw Festival) and The Policeman’s Whistle (unpublished, 1934). Rutherford and Son opened at The Royal Court Theatre in 1912, receiving considerable acclaim from the critics who assumed the author to be male. It later transferred to the West End and New York. It has since been translated into many languages. It was revived for Northern Stage in Newcastle in 2009, with a production directed by Richard Beecham.
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