University Centre St Helens students on the Theatre and Performance foundation degree will be joining professional actors and local amateur actors later this month to perform ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist’, based on the novel of the same name by Robert Tressell, and adapted for the stage by Tom McLennan.

First published in 1914, the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists tells the story of a group of working men who are joined one day by Frank Owen, a journeyman-prophet with a vision of a just society. Indicating the 'philanthropy' of the working class, who toil solely for the benefit of their masters, and initiating them into the secrets of the 'Great Money Trick' which alienates them from their labour, Owen's spirited attacks on the greed and dishonesty of the capitalist system rouse his fellow men from their political quietism.

After the shows successful sell-out in November 2015 at St Helens Central Library, Costal Productions will be bringing the play back to perform in University Centre St Helens’ town centre campus theatre for one night only.

Ian Greenall, Programme Leader for the foundation degree in Theatre and Performance at University Centre St Helens who is also playing a number of roles in the performance said: “We are delighted to be bringing the performance back to St Helens. Students from the foundation degree will not only be performing but one is also the lighting technician for the performance. We invite anybody who is interested in attending the performance to purchase their ticket early to avoid disappointment.”

The performance will take place in University Centre St Helens town centre campus theatre on Monday 27th April. The play is open to the public and tickets can be purchased for £10 (+ £1.00 BF) at

The Ragged Philanthropist