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"Being the story of twelve months in Hell, told by one of the damned."
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists was saved from destruction at the hands of its writer, Robert Tressel, by his own daughter, after a series of rejections from publishing houses. Thus was the world spared the loss of one of the most important socialist texts ever written.
This is a three-part Radio 4 Classic Serial adaptation from 8-22 June 2008, starring and co-produced by Johnny Vegas, wtih Andrew Lincoln, Shirley Henderson, Paul Whitehouse, Timothy Spall, the actor Kevin Eldon and, in a cameo, John Prescott MP.
Part 1 - The band of workmen includes socialist visionary Frank Owen. There’s a shock in store as their ruthless boss ‘Old Misery’ singles out one of the group, and Ruth and Easton resort to desperate measures to pay the rent.
Part 2 - Jack Linden is struggling to keep his family out of the workhouse. Easton, under pressure to provide for his family and keep his job, turns to drink. Ruth is left at home with the baby and the new lodger, with shocking consequences.
Part 3 - Ruth - reeling from the shock of recent events - is deserted once again as her husband Easton goes out with his workmates on their annual jolly. The situation takes a dramatic turn when Ruth goes missing. Meanwhile the workers are united in tragedy, and an unexpected revelation could change socialist Frank Owen’s life forever.
Cast and credits:
Owen ...... Andrew Lincoln
Easton ...... Johnny Vegas
Crass ......Timothy Spall
Hunter (‘Old Misery’) ...... Paul Whitehouse
The Policeman ...... John Prescott MP
Ruth ...... Shirley Henderson
Rushton ...... Bill Bailey
Barrington ......Tom Goodman-Hill
Slyme ...... Kevin Eldon
Linden ...... Philip Jackson
Mrs Linden/Mrs Crass ...... Gwyneth Powell
Philpot ...... Tony Haygarth
Bundy ...... Tony Pitts
Bert ...... Des O’Malley
Dawson/Sweater/Mr Didlum ...... Rupert Degas
Sawkins ...... Andrew Langtree
Mary ...... Emma Fryer
Newman ...... Steven Radford
Elsie ...... Yasmin Garrad
Charlie ...... Jake Pratt
Nora ...... Raquel Cassidy
Frankie ...... Robert Madge
By Robert Tressell, adapted by Andrew Lynch
Producers/Rebecca Pinfield and Johnny Vegas
Originally captured from Listen Again. 128kbps, 44Khz, mpga.
Runtime ~3 hrs (3 x 57 minutes)
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