Show marks return of theatre to Barningham Village Hall
THE re-opening of Barningham Village Hall after lockdown will be celebrated on Saturday, June 12, by a dramatic one-man show based on the iconic Edwardian working class novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.
Written by Robert Tressell, it tells the story of a gang of painters and decorators striving to make a living as they renovate a house for the mayor of the fictional town of Mugsborough, based on Hastings where the author lived.
Haunted by the threat of unemployment, the men struggle to keep their jobs at any price but in doing so some of them begin to realize that their lot in life is neither just or fair.
The story is told by actor Neil Gore, of Townsend Theatre Productions, in an entertaining magic lantern show full of political conjuring, storytelling, songs, one-liners and audience participation that has toured the country – even appearing before an audience of MPs at Westminster.
Adapted from the novel by the actor, it has been acclaimed as a rip-roaring tour of social history, exploring the timeless story of political awakening.
The Observer described it as “a powerful story, powerfully told” and film director Ken Loach has said: “You’ll leave the theatre and join the struggle.”
Robin Brooks, a member of Barningham Village Hall Committee, said: “The show is coming to us under the banner of the Highlights Rural Touring Scheme, which brings professional music and theatre to village halls and community venues across Durham, Northumberland and Cumbria.
“We hosted the very last Highlights show of 2020, just days before the first lockdown, so we’re particularly pleased to see a live show back so soon after re-opening.
“The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is a wonderful book which is, by turns, funny, poignant and challenging and its underlying theme of how to tackle inequality and suffering is all too relevant today.”
Mr Brooks added: “It has been acclaimed as one of the first portrayals of life written from a working class perspective. Ours is the show’s only date in Teesdale and, given that our capacity will be restricted by the need for social distancing, it would be wise to book early.”
The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £10.50 for adults, £4.50 for children and £23 for families.
Call 01833 621203 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve tickets or book on line at www.highlightsnorth.co.uk (a booking fee applies online).
There is a two-for-one ticket offer for anyone aged between 16 and 35.
Appropriate Covid-19 precautions will apply at the hall and anyone coming should bring a face mask.
On a lighter note, those attending are very welcome to bring their own drinks.