'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists'

September 6, 2015

5-31 October Bussey Building, Peckham, London





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'This is a two-hander in which the actors Jonathan Markwood and Neil Gore juggle 12 parts between them. Their physical and vocal talents are such that they shift seamlessly from one role to the next ..Both are excellent throughout and manage the demands of the performance with great skill.'



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The Stage


'Compressing Robert Tressell’s sprawling socialist masterpiece on to the stage in the first place is quite a task; doing so with only two performers is an impressive achievement indeed...ably and imaginatively performed by Neil Gore and Jonathan Markwood...Markwood is earnest and credible as painter and decorator Frank Owen, drawn towards socialism by his meagre wages.'





'The performance is a two-hander where the skilled performers (Neil Gore and Jonathan Markwood) take on the roles of 12 different characters. This is beautifully done, the ease of movement between each character is mastered very well, often it is only the removal of a hat, or a change to their gait and a new character is on the stage. The transformations are a beauty to watch'





'It is a dazzling display of virtuosity by both actors (Jonathan Markwood and Neil Gore)...a very funny, thought-provoking and contentious piece of drama for everyone..it adds up to a thoroughly exciting piece of theatre'


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Stage Review


'Neil Gore and Jonathan Markwood (so memorable as Dr Prospero in the recent tour of Return to the Forbidden Planet) play five characters each as well as both taking on the role of (boo, hiss) the villain of the piece, the Fagen-like rapacious gangmaster, Mr Hunter...they pull off a remarkable performance. The actors, changing hats or props, give us beautifully rounded and wonderfully sketched characters that leap out of the script to make a considerable impact. Markwood plays the forthright painter and burgeoning socialist, Frank Owen, who offers a voice of dissent, while both play the jovial double act of old timers Harlow & Bob who are happy just to be working.'


Jonathan is currently appearing in 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists'. The show is directed by Lousie Townsend and is a co-production with Harrogate Theatre.


Townsend Productions present the classic story of a group of painter-decorators who are joined by artist Owen (Jonathan Markwood), whose spirited attacks on the dishonesty of Capitalism, along with his Socialist vision, highlight exploitation in the workplace and inequality in society. Relevant still, this tale is told with vigour and passion.This hugely successful production is a gem of Edwardian humorous theatre with songs and music of the time.


   'A strong and robust show that brings the characters, humour and inspirational ideas of this great book to life. It is needed now more than ever. You'll leave the theatre and join the struggle!' Ken Loach, Film Director.

 **** ‘Tremendous’ The Times. 

10/10 "Sensational’ Liverpool Echo. 

 ****  'Highly entertaining’ Whatsonstage


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