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 performances. 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.