Everything changes and yet everything stays the same. 1844: Friedrich Engels writes his book ‘The Condition of the Working Class in England’, a classic denunciation of the appalling living conditions for working people living at the heart of the industrial revolution in Manchester, England. In 2012: a group of working class people from Manchester and Salford have the job of devising a theatrical show from scratch based on their own experiences and Engels’ book. They have 8 weeks before their first performance. The Condition of the Working Class follows the process from the first rehearsal to first night and situates their struggle to get the show on stage in the context of the daily struggles of working people facing economic crisis and austerity politics.
‘This is not a film, it’s a rehearsal for revolution’ – Film International.
“If you want to see how, fundamentally, the way people see and treat each other in Britain has not changed in over 160 years watch this film. Some things have changed. People have sewers now, £9 JSA a day, are taught to read, but not really to write or speak. We still look up and down at each other in ways we did then, betray ourselves through our accents, our dress our work – if we can get a job. It might be theatre but it’s not acting. It’s a blow against the mean low money grabbers.” – Danny Dorling
See The Trailer for The Condition of the Working Class, a new documentary film directed by Mike Wayne and Deirdre O’Neill