First picture released from RAGTIME – opening at Charing Cross Theatre 8 October

ragtime-ako-mitchell-as-coalhouse-walker-jr-photo-annabel-vereAko Mitchell stars as Harlem musician Coalhouse Walker Jr., one of the central characters in the musical “Ragtime”.

“Ragtime” led the 1998 Tony Awards with 12 nominations, winning 4 including Best Book by Terrence McNally and Best Original Score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.
This stunning new actor-musician version, with a cast led by West End and Broadway stars EARL CARPENTER and ANITA LOUISE COMB, will follow critically acclaimed “Titanic” as the second in-house production at Charing Cross Theatre.

It is the turn of the 20th Century in New York. An era is exploding. A century is spinning. And the people are moving in rhythm and rhyme to the music of Ragtime. Based on the novel by E.L Doctorow, Ragtime weaves together the story of three groups in America, represented by Coalhouse Walker Jr, a Harlem musician; Mother and her white, middle class family in New Rochelle; and Tateh, a Jewish immigrant who has come to America with his daughter seeking a new life. Their fictional lives become dramatically intertwined with one another as well as with historical figures including Harry Houdini, Booker T. Washington, JP Morgan and Henry Ford.

Anita Louise Combe, as Mother, sings “Back To Before” from RAGTIME

The full cast are: Simon Anthony (, NT); Bernadette Bangura (professional debut); Anthony Cable(The Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard, Anything Goes, Napoleon, West End); Earl Carpenter; Anita Louise Combe; Valerie Cutko (Raffaela in Grand Hotel, Broadway and Southwark Playhouse, Cabaret, West End); Matt Devereaux(Hitler, My Part in His Downfall, Hampstead); Christopher Dickins (Monsieur André in The Phantom of the Opera, West End, War Horse, NT); Nolan Frederick (Showboat, West End); Tom Giles (Muse of Fire, The Globe, Freddie Mercury in Royal Vauxhall, Edinburgh Fringe/Latitude); Joanna Hickman (The Witches of Eastwick, Watermill, Johanna in Sweeney Todd, directed by John Doyle); Lemuel Knights (professional debut); James Mack (Hayfever, West End, title role in Macbeth, Watermill) Ako Mitchell (Grey Gardens, Southwark Playhouse); Seyi Omooba (professional debut); Kate Robson-Stuart(Betty Blue Eyes, UK tour); Jennifer Saayeng (City of Angels, Donmar); Jonathan Stewart (Guys And Dolls, Savoy Theatre & Phoenix Theatre, West End, Grand Hotel, Southwark Playhouse); Gary Tushaw (currently starring as Joseph Taylor Jr in Allegro at Southwark Playhouse); and child actors Alana Hinge, Samuel Peterson, Ethan Quinn, Riya Vyas.

RAGTIME will run for a 9-week season at Charing Cross Theatre from Saturday 8 October – Saturday 10 December

Photo: Annabel Vere