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  • John Taylor

    Birnam Institute 17/02/2012. A brilliant performance. Excellent entertainment. Many thanks to all concerned.

  • Jane Ingram

    I want to say a big 'Thank you' for the production of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists presented in Hastings. Both the actors were multi-talented and had great rapport with the audience. We laughed, sang along and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Considering Hastings is the 'home' of the book, it was much appreciated by all I have spoken to who saw it. Good luck with the rest of the tour.

  • Simon Nicholls

    I saw the show last night(28/01/12) at The Tobacco Factory,it was wonderful,I have owned three copies of the book and given them away to people who were interested in reading it. Tressell wrote the book in 1910 and perhaps what is most depressing about it all....nothing has changed. Hats off (literally) to Rodney Matthew and Neil Gore for a bloody good nights entertainment.

  • David Atkin

    This production features two hugely talented actor-musicians. They are able to switch from laughter to pathos in the twinkling of an eye, taking the audience with them all the while. They transform easily from one character into another, even sharing parts. The ad-libbing and engagement with the audience underlines the confidence they have in each other and in their own abilities. The production itself deals with very serious issues in a manner that is never preachy. It is fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining, with an innovative set and great lighting.

  • John O.Donnell

    I seen this play in glasgow at the start of october, i have read the book many times.I am a painter/decorator to trade, this book is known as the painter's bible.Compulsive reading for all painters.Your show was the best bit of theatre i have seen in a decade.I also persauded two painters who had never been to theatre to go to the show,they where mesmerised.I would like to take this opportunity to thank the cast,set,prop and production for a great nights entertainment.Would it be possible to get a list of songs used in the show? lyrics chords etc.

  • Catherine Davis

    "As part of the first night audience at Hertford Theatre I thoroughly enjoyed this funny, musical and moving adaptation of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Fine Time Fontayne and Neil Gore were wonderful, moving seamlessly between the characters (and hats) amidst a clever set which conjured up workplace and annual country outing. A recalcitrant magic lantern merely helped, as the audience hugely enjoyed the ad libbing it induced. The puppet show portraying the better of members of society was fun, as was the opportunity to revisit old songs that I didn't think I knew (there must be a publicly accessible folk memory which holds 'When Father Papered the Parlour' and the like).
    However amidst the fun was sadness and a real sense of just how hard the characters' lives were and how little power they had against the demands of their employers and the wider economic situation. One could see a frisson of recognition run through the audience as they discussed what to do (or not) to stop the juggernaut of lower wages and rising costs. I first read the book as a teenager in the late 1970s and thought it described a time with about as much future relevance to everyday life as the gold standard. Funnily enough it didn't feel like that on Thursday, in fact it seemed like new minted contemporary drama in a period setting."

  • Eddie Bates

    Roberts Tressel's book describes, through the microcosm of a painting & decorating firm, the monumental struggle of the working class to gain a decent living wage & better living conditions. I read this book as a young man in 1963, yet the passage of time has not dulled my recollection of the characters & episodes within it. The cruelty meeted out to the workforce by Crass & Co is seared into my my memory, as is the humour & wisdom of those who stuggled to survive against it. Anyone who doubts the value of the Union Movement should watch this play & thank their lucky stars for real life characters like Owen, who through their sacrifice have made our lives so much better today.