|Rating: 2 /5
Where: Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
How Much: £20.50-£47.50
How long: 2hrs 50mins (inc interval)
Running until: 8th September 2012
Regents Park Open Air Theatre is the most beautiful setting for a summer performance. Set in the middle of Regent’s Park, in a clearing of the trees, sits a little cobbled stage and some seating which creates a mini amphitheatre feel. The day I went along was the first nice weather London has seen for a while which gave me the feeling it was going to be a very enjoyable afternoon.
Sadly I can’t tell you what Ragtime was about. I managed to follow the story up until the point a woman dug up a live baby from the ground.
I can however tell you this much. Set the the early 1900’s the show starts off with a woman who has killed her husband, goes prison and is now doing on Vaudeville theatre tour (remind you of any other shows?!). There is a poster of Barack Obama as the backdrop for the show (which doesn’t quite correlate with the period the piece is set in). McDonald’s, Starbucks and Mac Books all show up in this show, confusing the time period even more so. If the idea was to bring present day into the story, it failed.
Just before the interval (which couldn’t come soon enough), Sarah (who’s baby has been dug up in the garden earlier in the story) sadly dies. With everyone crying around her body she slowly stands up, removes her dress and lays it on the floor, revealing a polka dot dress underneath. To demonstrate death (which I assume was the point) it would have been clearer to have her in a plain white dress and to slowly walk off of the stage, out of sight. As it happened, she just went back and sat with the rest of the cast in her Polka dot dress.
Heading out of the theatre for the interval, I felt a bottle of Prosecco was required to help make sense of the story I had just seen. I ended up sitting in the beautiful surroundings of the theatre for the second act, watching the cast running in and out to changing rooms (which I have to say was much more interesting than the show I had been watching).
I give this show two stars for the beautiful theatre and lovely time spent there drinking in the sun.
Also, this theatre has probably the nicest toilets of any theatre in London (even though they are nothing more than fancy cabins).