Are you ready for Freddy? Engels is about to be reborn with a live performance and a film based on his original classic work The Condition of the Working Class in England 1842-44, the book that described in all its gory glory how ordinary people were living way, way back in Victorian Salford and Manchester.
The book led to Engels joint work with Karl Marx – The Communist Manifesto – and the rest is world revolution, Che Guevara, er, and Engel's historic mill in Weaste being bulldozed and ploughed through by the M602 in classic Salford Council style. Not a brick remains but his works live on and are as alive today as when Fred first wrote it all down over 150 years ago (see the Salford Star series on Engels then and now – click here and follow the links).
When Mike Wayne and Deirdre O'Neill from Inside Film looked at Engel's book, the similarities with today were screaming out of the pages…
"We both re-read Engel's The Condition of the Working Class and we were like `This could have been written now!'" says Deirdre "Of course there are superficial changes but the Conditions haven't changed – bad housing, segregation, unemployment – it's incredible, that's what hit us.
"We talked about making a film and updating it" she adds "And we're working with Manchester theatre group Not Too Tame, who are committed to working class theatre. We want local people to get involved, people who are affected by what's happening now."
The idea is to do live performances and film the whole process to make a documentary that will bring Engels bang up to the now…
Anyone who wants to get involved can contact Deirdre: firstname.lastname@example.org
There's loads more info at www.conditionoftheworkingclass.info
Filming will be from the end of April to July, two or three nights a week plus Saturday mornings.
* Engels collage created by Matt Carroll for Salford Star issue 6