A VILLAGE hall in Teesdale reopens this month with a dramatic one-man show.

Barningham Village Hall will host a show based on the iconic Edwardian working class novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists on Saturday, June 12, 7.30pm.

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 local mayor in 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 nor fair.

The story is told by actor Neil Gore, of Townsend Theatre Productions, in an entertaining performance of political conjuring, storytelling, songs, one-liners and audience participation.

Hall committee member Robin Brooks said: “The show is coming to us under the banner of the Highlights Rural Touring Scheme that 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.

“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.”

For tickets – priced £10.50 for adults, £4.50 for children and £23 for families – call 01833-621203 or email rpbrooks72@gmail.com or book online at highlightsnorth.co.uk, booking fees and offers apply. Covid safety measures will be in place and people can take their own drinks.