NORTHERN Broadsides took rather too long to add York Theatre Royal to Leeds, Scarborough and home town Halifax on their regular Yorkshire itinerary, for reasons of loyalty to the rest, but they have since become a favourite fixture here too.

And now, York has the honour of closing Barrie Rutter OBE's farewell tour after the Hull fishworker's son and pioneering Broadsides founder, artistic director and actor-manager announced he was to bring down the final curtain on his 25 years in charge, with effect from next April.

Still to come is the not-so-small matter of directing – and playing the Emperor – in the Broadsides and Shakespeare's Globe co-production of The Captive Queen in London in February and March, but Yorkshire is saying Good-neet now, and you will find the quizzically eye-browed Rutter at his most Rutter in his latest anarchic theatrical double act with Skipton playwright Blake Morrison.

There is a captive queen of sorts in For Love Or Money, Morrison's new adaptation of Alain-Rene Lesage’s pretty obscure, if savage, 18th century comedy, Turcaret. In a 1920s' Yorkshire small town that could pass for Skipton, Otley or Ilkley, willowy, wily widow Rose is stuck in her ever-diminishing bird cage, down to one flapper's dress, one chaise longue with books propping up one corner; one worn chair; one drinks table; one decanter and a few glasses in Jessica Worrall's apposite design.

The paintings have gone, signified by the lighter patches of wallpaper they once covered, but the decanter is always full and pucker-speaking Rose (Sarah Jane-Potts, think Sandy Wilson's girls in The Boyfriend now grown up) still has a plain-speaking, upwardly mobile housekeeper (the splendidly splenetic Jacqueline Naylor).

What's more, Rose revels in the contrasting advances of two dubious suitors. Rutter's vainglorious bank manager Algy Fuller is fuller himself, fuller bad jokes and even worse poetry, and fuller morally corrupt practices that resonate with today's greedy banking world. Rival Arthur (twinkle-toed Jos Vantyler) is silent-movie-star-cigarette-card handsome, young, so dapper in his correspondent brogues. Not only is it a love triangle, it is a money triangle of deceit too: Arthur plays Rose for as much money as she can take from Fuller.

Before Richard Bean made merry mayhem with One Man, Two Guvnors, Morrison already had turned Goldoni's Italian farce into The Man With Two Gaffers, and there are echoes in his new play, even a knowing reference to the earlier success.

York Press:

Jos Vantyler as Arthur and Sarah-Jane Potts as Rose in For Love Or Money. Picture: Nobby Clark

Here, however, more than one man is pulling strings, on the make for himself. Unlike all those around him, you should watch out for Jordan Metcalfe's odd-job man Jack, the jack-be-nimble jackdaw, out to woo Kat Rose-Martin's saucy maid Lisa while piling up the dosh with his deliciously dishonest honesty.

The trademark Broadsides clogs are absent, but both chancers, Arthur and Jack, are rhythmic in their line of patter and fleet of foot at all times, Arthur with his Lindy Hop dance moves, Jack with a cheeky spring in every step.

Morrison's script dances too, revelling in what he calls the "Northern Broadsides idiom" as he raids old dialect books for wonderfully percussive Yorkshire expressions and alliterative aphorisms, especially those uttered by Jacqueline Naylor's brace of no-nonsense women.

Aided by Morrison's punchy dialogue, director Rutter conducts matters at a cracking pace (less than an hour each half), and the pleasures grow as new characters are introduced at just the right moment, from Jim English's drunkard young farmer Martin, to Matthew Booth's deadpan cameo as bank clerk Ruddle and Sarah Parks's glorious late arrival as Teresa, a tornado in Lady Bracknell tradition but with a twist.

Can it be mere coincidence that Barrie Rutter should exit with a play that bashes the banking and money world when Northern Broadsides' failure to secure an uplift in Arts Council England funding made up his mind to stand down? Of course not! It is a typically Barrie broadside.

Thank you, Barrie, for all these years of being a northern powerhouse of theatre making; of sending the northern voice far and wide; of being a Yorkshireman.

For Love Or Money, Northern Broadsides, York Theatre Royal, 7.30pm tonight and tomorrow; 2.30pm and 7.30pm, Saturday. Box office: 01904 623568 or at