Hindle Wakes was first produced in 1912 by Annie Horniman's repertory company. Horniman's permanent base was in Manchester where she put on plays by new and often local writers. Hindle Wakes was written by a young Lancashire playwright, Stanley Houghton (1881-1913).
It opened at the Coronet Theatre in West London where it caused such a sensation that it was transferred to the Playhouse Theatre in the West End. The story followed a Lancashire mill worker, Fanny Hawthorn, who goes away for a weekend (during Wakes Week) with her employer's son, telling her parents she is with a friend. When the truth is discovered, both sets of parents agree that he must marry her, the twist being that she has no intention of marrying him and saw the weekend as just for fun. The play received excellent reviews, but its ending was considered so immoral that it caused outrage in many circles. A huge number of column inches in the newspapers were taken up with the argument.