The Production Company Ends 21st Season With Potent ‘Ragtime’ -
Kurt Kansley in Ragtime from The Production Company

Kurt Kansley in Ragtime from The Production Company

The Production Company Ends 21st Season With Potent ‘Ragtime’

by Paul Cashmere on November 3, 2019

in News

‘Ragtime’ is possibly the most confronting production The Production Company has ever presented.

It is fitting that in its 21st year (and its final production of 2019) that The Production Company has delivered a story that dates back 100 years that is still so relevant today.

‘Ragtime’ is about racial prejudice. It is about how the law only applies to some. It is about the separation of classes and how human life is not valued equally. It makes you think about how the wrongs of 100 years ago are still applicable in society today.

This was the Australian premiere for ‘Ragtime’, the ninth Australian premiere produced by The Production Company. The Production Company Artistic Director Ken Mackenzie-Forbes acquired the rights to ‘Ragtime’ back in 2003 and revealed last night that it has taken years to find the right cast to present the show the way it deserves.

Kurt Kansley leads the cast of ‘Ragtime’ in the role of Coalhouse Walker Jr. Kurt is all voice. In his previously role of Che Guevara in ‘Evita’ it was Kurt’s powerful voice that made ‘Evita’ such a compelling show and it is that voice that is the centerpiece of ‘Ragtime’.

Where The Production Company excels with ‘Ragtime’ is in the casting. Where ‘Evita’ fell down by mismatching Kurt with a pop star, ‘Ragtime’ compliments his vocals with equally powerful performances from Georgina Hopson as Mother and Alexander Lewis as Tateh. ‘Ragtime’ is a powerful story. It needs powerful performers and The Production Company has delivered.

Having seen dozens of Production Company shows over the past decade ‘Ragtime’ ranks as one of the best, if not the best. The music is obviously the key to any musical but ‘Ragtime’ goes much further than that. This story about racism challenges you, it makes you think and it compels the audience to walk away educated about what happens and think about why it still does.

Everything about this show was fine-tuned to perfection. The costumes capture the period but also divides the cast with a visual separation of wealth and poverty.

Ragtime The Production Company

The story follows two lives. As well as the racially profiled character played by Kansley, Alexander Lewis’ Tateh balances the hopelessness with determination and potential of the American Dream.

Tateh is a Jewish immigrant from Latvia who struggles in the new land before finding his fortune through the new growth industry of the visual arts. While Walker is doomed in a world of prejudice, Tateh overcomes the prejudices utilizing his talents to create a new life.

‘Ragtime’ is about how hope and hopelessness are a matter of circumstance and fate.

Do see this show. ‘Ragtime’ is only on for one week in Melbourne only. It is a stunning conclusion to The Production Company’s 21-year legacy which will come to an end in 2020 … or will it?

Hopefully shows like ‘Ragtime’ will make Jeanne Pratt reconsider finishing off what has become such an essential and relevant part of Melbourne’s entertainment community.

‘Ragtime’ is on at Arts Centre Melbourne until 10 November 2019.

Noise11 on Instagram

You’ll discover music news first following Noise11 on Twitter

Comment on the news of the day, join Noise11 on Facebook

Listen to the Noise11 Music News channel now at iHeartRadio

Related Posts