The Ragged Trousred Philanthropists

Townsend Productions will be staging a new production of Stephen Lowe’s critically acclaimed version of Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists at Birmingham Library Theatre on 2nd September.

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Finetime Fontayne and Neil Gore in The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Using instrumentation, songs of the period, comedy and characterisation, 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.

Robert Tressell’s 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 as it puts life and politics into sharp focus in an entertaining and accessible way. The production coincides with the centenary of Robert Tressell’s death.

Stephen Lowe’s version of the story was first seen in 1978 and has been revived several times

The play features Finetime Fontayne and Neil Gore  and  is directed by Louise Townsend

Tickets are priced at £10 and can be purchased at the box office on 0121 245 4455 or online at

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