The Spongers 42 years old

Set against the backdrop of Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II, the play depicts a single mother's struggles as welfare cuts affect the poor and disabled. The derogatory term 'spongers' is used by British tabloid press to describe people who are dependent on welfare support, however the play presents the case of a family who really need the help of welfare support. The title sequence shows the title of the play, 'The Spongers', superimposed over a picture of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, denoting them as 'the real spongers' as Royal finances are paid by British taxpayers.


Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill


Donald Gee
Donald Gee

Dr Whitehead

Bernard Atha
Bernard Atha

Councillor Conway

David Hatton
David Hatton

DHSS Clerk

All Cast

Name Character
Bernard Hill He was 33, now 75 years old as Sullivan
Roger Sloman He was 31, now 73 years old as Presenting Officer at Tribunal
Christine Hargreaves She was 38, 45 years old when she died as Pauline
Joan Peters was 40, now 82 years old as Social Services Committee
David Hatton as DHSS Clerk
Peter Lawrence as Pauline's GP
Fred Pearson as Director of Social Services
Donald Gee He was 87, 75 years old when he died as Dr Whitehead
Bernard Atha He was 49, now 91 years old as Councillor Conway


Name Department
Roland Joffé as Director. Roland Joffé was 32 (now 74) years old Directing
Jim Allen as Writer. he was 51 (72) years old when he died Writing
The Spongers (42 years)

  • Release day: Tuesday, January 24, 1978
  • Runtime: 91 minutes