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Taking it in our strides
FRESH from their storming success at the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ rally, Townsend Productions are returning to Dorset with their adaptation of Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist.
Using instrumentation, songs of the period, drama, comedy and characterisation to create the spirit and clarity of the political message, the play shares with its audience a year in the life of a group of painters and decorators, as they renovate a three-storey town house for Mayor Sweater.
It traces their struggle for survival in a complacent and stagnating Edwardian England. These workers are the “philanthropists” who throw themselves into back-breaking work for poverty wages in order to generate profit for their masters Performed as a two-hander, the production, which coincides with the centenary anniversary of the author’s death remains as vivid and as relevant as when it was written almost a century ago, runs.
The show is being staged at Lighthouse in Poole and venue spokesman Paul Tucker said: “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, has become a classic of working-class literature since its first publication in 1914. “The themes and style of the piece are eternally relevant and provoking and put life and politics into sharp focus in an entertaining and accessible way.”
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ excellent cast features Rodney Matthew, who joins the production straight off the back of Jerusalem in the West End. The production is directed by Louise Townsend, with the creative team including designs by Fine Time Fontayne.
Catch the show at Lighthouse in Poole on Friday and Saturday, September 14 and 15 at 2.30pm and 8pm. Call 0844 406 8666 for tickets and full details.