Katherine Githa Sowerby was born in 1876 in Gateshead, England. Her first play, Rutherford & Son, was an outstanding success when originally performed in 1912. Published under her initials G.K. Sowerby, it was generally assumed that the author was a man. When her true identity was revealed she became an overnight sensation. Rutherford & Son ran for one hundred and thirty-three performances in London and sixty-three performances in New York and was translated into numerous languages. Other plays followed: Before Breakfast, 1912; A Man and Some Women, 1914; Sheila, in 1917; The Stepmother, 1924; The Policeman’s Whistle, 1934 – her single full-length play for children, and her last play Direct Action, 1937–78. She was well-known in the early twentieth century as a feminist and voice of the people, but she by the time of her death in 1970, she and her works had lapsed into obscurity.
Rutherford & Son was revived in 1980 and there have been numerous productions since. Samuel French are publishing The Stepmother to coincide with the 2017 production at the Chichester Theatre.