The plight of the homeless is examined through the eyes of abandoned children in mid-nineteenth-century London.
Broadcast on the BBC in 1988, The Ragged Child became a flagship production and title for the UK's National Youth Music Theatre. Critics have largely hailed The Ragged Child as "moving" and "stirring."
The dire straits of the poor and destitute of 1850's London is mirrored in the tragic lives of siblings Joe & Annie Cooper. As they are fighting in the streets for survival and reprieve from the deadly cholera outbreak, Lord Shaftesbury is fighting in the House of Lords for the education of the ignorant, illiterate poor. As Lord Shaftesbury's quest has a successful outcome, the Coopers are not so lucky. They're the last of the unfortunate souls to slip through the fingers of necessary charity.
The Ragged Child comes from a creative team that has a staggering number of musicals under its belt, including Drake, Tin Pan Ali and The Roman Invasion of Ramsbottom. It's a well-crafted tale that is the ideal choice for a theatre company that would like to feature young artists. The Ragged Child also has potential to couple well with schools' history curricula.