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Ragtime (Susan Elkin reviews)

Ragtime, performed by National Youth Music Theatre, continues at MCT at Alleyn’s until 27 August 2022.

Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens’ Ragtime is a magnificent, brave, visceral show and it’s hard to imagine it in better hands than those of the National Youth Music Theatre and director Hannah Chissick.

I shall, unashamedly, start with the band because there’s so much handwringing about music education these days. Of course the concerns are justified but here are 22 accomplished young players, aged from 15 to 23 and from all over the country, tunefully and very competently proving that young musicianship is definitely not dead.

Bringing them all on stage, holding their instruments at the end is a wonderful touch too. It reminds everyone present just how young they are and what a stonkingly good job they’ve done for nearly three hours. David Randall is evidently a fine and inspirational MD.

Ragtime’s complex narrative weaves together three New York stories …

Read the rest of this review at Musical Theatre Review:

Author information
Susan Elkin Susan Elkin is an education journalist, author and former secondary teacher of English. She was Education and Training Editor at The Stage from 2005 - 2016
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