Home Arts and Culture Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

It was a delight to attend the performance of Ragged Trousered Philanthropist last night at St Helens College.

A packed out theatre was treated to a wonderful performance of the play, adapted by Tom McLennan from the book of the same name by Robert Tressell.

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is as relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1914 and tells the story of a group of painters who are content with their lot and happy to idolise, obey and kowtow to their masters until they are forced to question their subservience by fellow worker – Frank Owen.

The cast were a mixture of both professional and amateur actors though you’d be hard pressed to tell them apart such was the sheer brilliance of the acting throughout the play.

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Tressell’s novel – often called “the worker’s bible” and published after his death and burial in a pauper’s grave in Liverpool in 1911 – provided inspiration for the growing Labour movement and the establishment of the welfare state. It’s good to be reminded of why it was so influential, not least because it offers one of the most effective and straightforward explanations of how capitalism works for the benefit of the bosses, in the famous “money trick”, which translated beautifully to the stage.

They’ll be performing this again at Liverpool Central Library tomorrow, Saturday 29th April, at 7pm. Tickets are available at www.wegottickets.com/costal

If you’ve never read the book, do so, now. Either head to your local library or independent bookshop or you can download an audiobook for free => https://librivox.org/the-ragged-trousered-philanthropists-by-robert-tressell/

I understand that the play is looking at touring. If you might like them to come and bring it to your part of the world drop the production Company a line via their Facebook Page Costal Productions.

 

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