Behold Ye Ramblers - a new musical play

by louise-townsend in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Total raised £5,628

raised so far



‘Behold Ye Ramblers’ is the exciting, interactive musical drama about The Clarions and their fight to make the world a better place for all.

by louise-townsend in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 25th July 2023 we'd raised £5,443 with 141 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

With the extra £1000.00 it would mean that we could purchase two LE D lanterns for our lighting rig to replace Old Stock.


The Project & what to expect:

Townsend Theatre Productions would like to introduce you to the company’s new production - “Behold Ye Ramblers!” - that weaves poetry, song, wit, music and comedy in a performance revealing the history of the Clarion Movement that inspired the development of outdoor pursuits and leisure for 'the many' and established vital campaigns to claim the right to walk freely across the countryside; to protect, defend and connect with the land. 

From about 1890 up to the 1930s, readers of the “The Clarion” newspaper formed clubs and societies dedicated to leisure and educational pursuits for the furtherance of health and wellbeing - Clarion Cycling, Clarion Rambling, Scouts, Vocal Unions (choirs), drama groups, brass bands - as well as the Clarion Van for the promotion of Socialism.

New, lively arrangements of songs from the Clarion Song Book (from such luminaries as William Morris, Edward Carpenter and Edith Nesbit) and popular songs amongst the cyclists and ramblers will be front and centre of the performance. 

The show will invite existing choirs to join the performances, but audiences will also be encouraged to become choir members for the night and actively enjoy the interactive experience. It promises to be an evening of breezy, energetic entertainment that will leave you with the desire to join in with the performance, and then get up onto the nearest hillside and out into the fresh air!

The Project & when it will take place:

The tour of “Behold Ye Ramblers” will take place in Spring 2024 and we have already successfully managed to book several tour dates across the UK, so the prospects for the production are already looking very promising indeed!


The Project & our past work

Townsend Theatre Productions website CLICK HERE

“Behold Ye Ramblers!” is yet another significant contribution to Townsend Theatre Productions' growing list of authoritative, professionally produced new plays about working-class and labour history, from ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ to plays about Britain’s first black bus driver, the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the Grunwick Strike, the Spanish Civil War, the Women Chain-Makers, the Shrewsbury Pickets, the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders’ Work In, the Chartists as well as short films and archive material. Our plays have toured the UK to huge critical acclaim and to large audiences in hundreds of city, town and remote venues, large and small, for over twelve years. The basis of our work is one of partnership with communities, artists and campaigners. Our work, often developed with testimony from recorded interviews or documentary sources, resonates with our working-class audience experiences, offering a safe and secure place for those engaged to have their voice heard and feel included in the process of artistic endeavour. Our aim is, and always has been, to create outstanding, imaginative, entertaining, accessible and socially-relevant live theatre.

Townsend Theatre Productions are award winners! - in the past the company's work has been recognised through the North-East Theatre Awards for best touring production of 2022, 'Stagescripts' 10@10 Award (2018) & 'Eastern Eye' ACTA best actress Award (2017) for"We Are The Lions, Mr. Manager!"; Edinburgh Fringe Awards best actress (2013) for "We Will Be Free!"; the company's work has featured on BBCBreakfast, BBCr2Jeremy Vine, BBCr4's 'Women's Hour' and 'Front Row', and in 'The Observer', 'The Times' and 'The Scotsman'. 

The Project & why it is important now:

Another important aspect of this project and play is to bring the subject right up-to-date to the modern Right to Roam camp1687863546_img_0647.jpgaign that has recently been making headlines. The R2R campaign argues that public access is not a threat to nature, and that it should mean more than just ‘a nice walk’ or occasional ramble. It should be more. It should be the means by which everyone can play a part in protecting the environment - being the eyes and ears of the countryside, actively bonding and interacting creatively with nature (planting trees or cleaning rivers) to enhance a meaningful, respectful relationship with the countryside around us. The Clarion Ramblers recognised this, and that is the meaningful message that will be central to this production.

The Project & sustainability:

One major consideration for touring is to be environmentally sustainable. Our very well organised touring schedules will be prepared to ensure minimisation of long distance travel between venues, keeping each touring phase hyperlocal, keeping our carbon footprint small and save on fuel costs. Our production values are based on recycling sets, and by using up-to-the-minute technologies we use very little energy in performance.

The Project & how your money would be spent:

We have been working in theatre for many years and have run our own company for over twelve years. We have plenty of experience of budgeting within very tight margins, so we're very adept at making magical things happen on quite low funding streams. It means we know how and where best to reap the most effective returns on investments. We have identified four areas of our work where your money would be best placed to make the project a success: 

Firstly, in creating a set design and build that makes best use of recycled materials, and one that enables the elements of the show and performance to really transform and impact the spaces where the events will happen; to literally "wow" an audience. 

Secondly, access to performances is our major concern, and your money will go towards making the shows accessible for all, partly by including British Sign Language and captioning as part of the performance. 

Thirdly, we recognise that effective P.R. and marketing is one of the most important elements of producing theatre work, and actively reaches new audiences through the many competitive media streams, both mainstream and online. Your money would go towards a very effective P.R./media campaign to raise the profile of the project and connect its themes to relevant, current news and arts stories to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

Finally, your money would go towards the creation of recordings of the songs from the show, from which a CD will be manufactured (or download made available through the company's 'bandcamp' site) as a lasting legacy of the project.

Thankyou to you:

Thank you for watching our Crowdfunding film, and thank you for considering our project and for donating towards the project. Any contribution you make will be matched by other funders, so it’s vital that we raise some funds in advance to make that possible.


The song in the video is “Come, Comrades, Come (Down Among The Dead Men)” by William Morris, from the Clarion Song Book.


This project offered rewards

£20 or more

The Rambler

You will receive 2 signed posters and 2 programmes; 2 free tickets & 1 CD for any 'Behold Ye Ramblers' show:

£10 or more

The Stroller

You will receive a signed poster and programme from 'Behold Ye Ramblers' and CD of the music

£50 or more

The Hill Runner

4 free tickets to press night or for any show of your choice, plus a bottle of bubbly; & 2 free CDS & 2 signed posters & 2 free programmes.

£100 or more

The Moutaineer

6 free tickets for press night or any shows of your choice, plus a bottle of bubbly & 4 CD's & 4 signed posters and programmes. Visit the company for a day in rehearsal.

£250 or more

The Olympian

A weekend break join us in rehearsal accommodation paid for, 6 free tickets, 4 CD's & be on the publicity as an executive producer.

Show your support

Payment and personal details are protected