Lime Review - Theatre
Lime Magazine were invited down to Regents Park’s Open Air Theatre to see early twentieth century America come back to life!
Ragtime the musical by Terrence Mcnally is based on the 1975 novel by E.L Doctorow. The play features great renditions of ragged rhythms and melodies made popular by Ernest Hogan.
The production takes the audience on a musical adventure of American history. By no means did the story hold back delving into the nitty gritty reality of racism, ‘bastard’ babies, crime, protests, illicit romance, social hierarchy, immigration and the tough path to success.
Ragtime effectively portrays the struggle of immigrants during 1900 -1920’s America.
The main characters strive to make a meaning to an ends but get constant knock backs with no support from their new community or from the law enforcements.
The large cast was extremely strong both dramatically and vocally. The staging was an impressive war torn amalgamation but a little confusing as it featured a burnt out Obama poster whilst maintaining a war torn image with various props from the past seven decades. There were a few concurrent character stories, so paying full attention was key!
I found myself really warming to the characters; in particular the comical grandpa ‘Jo Servi’ who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. Grandpa is part of a wealthy family who have increasingly different views of ‘coloured folk’.
Some would say that the story of Ragtime is slightly depressing but don’t worry there’s a semi-Happy ending. There are a few revolutionary changes within the society that lead to the continued progression of non White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
As an overall experience I really enjoyed attending the Regents Park Open Air Theatre and would recommend it to lovers of the arts and the outdoors.
18 May - 8 September 2012
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