A one-man ‘magic lantern’ performance of Robert Tressell’s classic book, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, is currently touring the country to rave reviews.
Staged by Townsend Theatre Productions, the show features actor Neil Gore playing multiple characters from the book while presenting what’s described as “an Edwardian magic show with magic lantern and projected animation, political conjuring tricks and live music and song”.
The performance follows what happens to a group of painters and decorators who are charged with renovating a large town house for local Mayor Sweater. The book’s famous “great money trick” forms the show’s centrepiece while there is also audience participation, plus scenes, speeches and songs from the book.
The play is followed by a slide show, which includes an image of the supposed ‘Mugsborough ILP’ banner (pictured above) displaying the classic ILP ‘S for socialism’ symbol.
Film director Ken Loach said the performance is “a strong and robust show that brings the characters, humour and inspirational ideas of this great book to life. It is needed now more than ever. You’ll leave the theatre and join the struggle.”
Labour MP Dan Carden was inspired to take the production to Parliament after seeing it performed in his Liverpool Walton constituency.
The tour travels across the country from Liverpool to London, Brighton to Dundee, and many places between. It started in September and continues into December 2018 before returning in March, May and June 2019.
Full details of all remaining tour dates and how to book tickets are on Townsend Theatre’s website.