Join us in Hastings  on Sunday 13 September for a spectacular afternoon from the legendary Ragged Trousered Cabaret, founded by the union movement to put radical entertainment before the widest possible audience.  

 LIZZIE SHIRLEY    Radical  songwriter with the human touch     

PATRIC CUNNANE  Passion, poetry and politics, served with a dash of wit   

SUE JOHNS        Hard-hitting verse from poet with Cornish roots        

 PLUS: music from Tom Cole (Americana); Maria Grazia (country/folk); Tony Peak (singer/songwriter); poetry from Pete Donoghue; special guest, Ann Field (archivist of Wapping dispute)          Sunday 13th September 2015  4pm


The Owl & Pussycat Lounge, 14 Robertson Street, Hastings TN34 1HL (01424 720747)

Ragged Trousered Cabaret info: 01303 243868; patric.poet@zen.co.uk


Ragged Trousered Cabaret was launched in March 1984 to help the embattled labour movement during the Thatcher years.

The group was founded by Sogat ’82 members at IPC Business Press in Sutton, London, with support from the Sutton trades union council. It championed poetry, comedy and music with a political edge.

Initial funding came from a public meeting headlined by Tony Benn. During the miners’ strike RTC took shows to Snowdown colliery, discovering along the way the notable talents of Ellie Bence, a miner’s daughter who wrote poems about the dispute. RTC joined with other left-wing entertainment groups in a mass picket of Neasden power station to prevent coal entering the plant.

As the decade passed RTC was active in several major disputes including those involving the seafarers, the NHS and the print workers.  We organised an alternative Royal Wedding Show at Wapping the day that Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew wed. Other activities included street entertainment at the 24-hour anti-apartheid picket line outside South Africa House.

As well as doing benefit gigs, RTC received paid bookings from the labour and trades union movement enabling  performers who gave their time freely to get paid as often as possible. The group performed regular seasons at labour movement venues including the Lewisham Labour Club, Wimbledon Labour Club and the Red Rose Club in north London.

Many of RTC’s performers went on to become household names including Harry Enfield, Jenny Éclair, Jo Brand, Josie Lawrence, John Hegley,  Mike Myers (Wayne’s World) and jazz singer Barb Jungr.

Members of the RTC collective including Geoff Dixon, Lawrence Wess Patric Cunnane and P.Murry are still active in the movement. Patric Cunnane now runs poetry events through Dodo Modern Poets:

https:// dodomodernpoets.wordpress.com

 Contact: Patric Cunnane  Harbour Villa Dyke Road, Folkestone, CT19 6BS




August 2015

01303 243868; mobile, 07769 777022


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