The Scottsboro Boys Review Garrick Theatre West End 2014

Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s The Scottsboro Boys Review Garrick Theatre West End 2014….

THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS is the final thrilling collaboration by musical theatre giants John Kander and Fred Ebb, the boys behind Chicago & Cabaret.

This critically-acclaimed production comes to the West End following a sold-out run at the Young Vic.

Directed by 5-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman - the genius behind The Producers - this show is at times totally invigorating. This shows distinct choreography sets the stage on fire and brings this moving story to life.

This daring and at times uncomfortable and wildly entertaining musical explores a fascinating chapter in American history with compelling originality.

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The show is based on the notorious “Scottsboro” case in the 1930s, in which 9 African-American men were unjustly accused of a terrible crime. Despite re-trial, 4 were released but 5 died in jail. It’s really a play set to music.

Unlike so many of these historical plays, it did not feel worthy or over sentimental. To begin it was hard to comprehend the mix of campery, farce and comedy with the serious nature of the play. Ultimately it worked beautifully.

Their shocking yet inspiring story - told though a mix of innovative staging and chirpy new songs - culminates in a brilliantly staged, fast paced, inspiring tale of lies, solidarity, betrayal, friendship, corruption and tenacity.

It’s a modern day Operation Yewtree!

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Huge congratulations should be shared between the phenomenally talented cast who play several roles seamlessly within the show. Their energy is infectious.

Despite their literally being no set, you are able to totally focus on this almost unbelievable true story. The lighting is clever and the simple props are used to perfection.

It would almost be unfair to single out any of the cast as they are all exceptional. Vocally the synergy of their voices is stunning. Individually they are all wonderfully talented.

Nods should go to Keenan Munn-Francis who was adored as the young Eugene and Brandon Victor-Dixon as Haywood. They equally had a special rapport with the audience.

This show is on a limited run of 20 weeks which is a great shame. I attended a Wed matinee surrounded by students who were not only totally engaged by the show but perfectly behaved due to the intensity of this story. So rare and a testament of the production.

The West End Scottsboro Boys is played straight through in 1.45″ without an interval.


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History Of The Show:

The story begins on-board a train. After a fight breaks out between the white and black boys, several of the white boys are forced off the train in Stevenson, Alabama, where the county sheriff is alerted. An armed mob of white men stop the Southern Railway, and the nine black boys are arrested for assault and attempted murder.

Victoria Price and Ruby Bates accuse all nine black boys of rape and so the story begins….

In 2002, Susan Stroman first met with Thompson, Kander, and Ebb. The team began to “research the famous American trials” and found the Scottsboro Boys trial, which they thought was “a story that needed to be told.” After Ebb’s death in 2004, the project was put on hold. However, in 2008, Kander reapproached Stroman and Thompson, and the project continued. Kander finished writing the lyrics in Ebb’s place and the show went on to win 9 Tony Awards on Broadway.