Live and Local to stage first post-lockdown touring show

Published: 24 September 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

One-man show: The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

An organisation which co-ordinates live entertainment across the Midlands is to stage a trial run of its first touring event post-lockdown, Townsend Productions’ The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

Live and Local has chosen Bedford-based Townsend Productions to present Neil Gore’s adaptation of Robert Tressell’s 1910 novel, a “classic representation of the impoverished and politically powerless underclass of British society in Edwardian England”.

Gore, who also appears in the production, reimagines the novel as a one-man show using projected animation, conjuring tricks, live music and song.

Rural touring schemes including Live and Local are looking into how professional productions can safely be performed again in village halls, community centres, libraries and outdoors.

John Laidlaw from Live and Local said, “ensuring that a show is professionally managed in a setting that’s rarely a fully equipped arts venue can bring challenges at any time. With COVID-19 we have to redouble our efforts to make the space work for us.

“We're delighted to be able to work with Townsend Productions to bring The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists to Lincolnshire, giving local audiences the chance to experience once again high-level professional theatre on their doorstep. This first trial will be carried out with strict social distancing measures in place.”

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists will be at Reepham and Cherry Willingham Village Hall, Lincolnshire on Friday 25 September. Louise Townsend produces and directs, designer is Liz Wright and Daniella Beattie is lighting designer.