Passionate, highly entertaining and gloriously funny – Robert Tressell’s classic pre-First World War account of the working lives of a group of housepainters and decorators is vividly adapted by Howard Brenton.
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists recounts the little daily successes and the disasters of a group of working-class men, living under the constant fear of being laid off by employers forever looking for new corners to cut. Both workers and bosses are caught in a system spiralling out of control, but why is it the workers always come out worse?
Howard Brenton’s stage adaptation, first performed at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool in June 2010 in a co-production with Chichester Festival Theatre, lays bare the many social injustices perpetrated on these men whilst capturing their individual characters with touching truth to life.
‘Speaks with passion and eloquence’
‘Sparkles with so much wit and integrity it is impossible not to warm to the ethos that lies at its very core’
‘Wisely, Howard Brenton has shown confidence in Tressell’s original story and has concentrated on creating a piece of theatre without compromising the impact of the original text…Brenton has produced the definitive stage version’
— Amateur Stage