The Bones of Paine at the Working Class Movement Library

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
The Bones of Paine
Image courtesy of Chris Payne Images 2015.

The Bones of Paine at Working Class Movement Library, Manchester 30 November 2019 Entrance is free — Visit now

The Working Class Movement Library and Salford outdoor arts specialists Walk the Plank bring the fascinating character of Thomas Paine to life for the people of Salford and Manchester. With a lively procession through the streets of Salford, The Bones of Paine will feature impressive illuminated puppetry, including a giant Bones of Paine marionette, and a live street band.

Bringing the fascinating character of Thomas Paine to life for the people of Salford and Manchester.

English-born Thomas Paine was a political philosopher and writer whose works influenced the American Revolution and paved the way for the Declaration of Independence. Paine was the author of two of the most significant pamphlets of the time, The American Crisis and Common Sense, which both stood to advocate American Independence. Historically, Paine was also one of the greatest promoters of Human Rights. He died in New York City in 1809 aged 72.

In November 1819 the remains of this pioneering political theorist were brought to Salford by radical journalist William Cobbett, having been dug up in New York, only to be refused entry to Manchester. Mysteriously, 15 years later, the bones disappeared.

This event marks the bicentenary of this curious event and celebrates Paine’s revolutionary writings and eventful life, seeking to create an alternative and artistic ending to the story.

Impressive illuminated puppetry, including a giant Bones of Paine marionette, and a live street band.

The procession will start at Salford’s Working Class Movement Library and end at the People’s History Museum in Manchester. The procession will make a couple of musical pit-stops on its journey to Manchester: at Bexley Square – M3 6DJ at 4:20 pm for a vocal performance that will include the songs written during workshops held at the WCML with writer Louise Wallwein MBE ; then at New Bailey – M3 5JL at 5:00 pm for another vocal performance, before the procession finally reaches the People’s History Museum to be welcomed by a colourful performance from Colibri Mexican Folkdance at 5.15 pm. Following the procession, the museum will keep its doors open until 6:00 pm so people can view Paine’s writing desk and other items; the café will be serving celebratory Bones of Paine biscuits.

Make a day of it – fill up on tea and home-made cake at the Working Class Movement Library before the procession and check out their new exhibition, Thomas Paine: Citizen of the World, which tells the story of Paine’s life and the central role he had in both the American and French Revolution.


  • Relaxed

Where to go near The Bones of Paine at the Working Class Movement Library

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