Last week saw the return of Ragamuffin as part of the thirtieth anniversary celebrations of BHM Leicester. Ragamuffin came with the style, swagger and political historical perspective, which is still relevant today. Contextualising Black history whilst offering an opportunity to reflect contemporary issues and make a stance on whether time has stood still as the western historical memory of the Haitian revolution in 1804 is not a well known story yet as the backdrop to Ragamuffin a bad boy with charm and a merciless gangster attitude his behaviour resonates with the youth of today.
The parodic drama reveals the conflicting realities for Black youth in contemporary Britain and ultimately leaves the audience – aka the jury – to decide Ragamuffin’s fate. The rehearsed reading with flash back of the original brought the piece back to life with an audience who didn’t want to leave the theatre as they were griped in the debate of about how we arrive at a point that lesson throughout history have still not been learnt, what should become of Ragamuffin, what should become of today youth, why are we still in this mire when it comes to the fate, and opportunities afford to Black youth.
Ragamuffin although a reading still evoked debate, and plea to remount a play, written and directed by Amani Naphtali, that after 28 years is still relevant today.