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The Scottsboro Boys at the Young Vic

October 27, 2013

Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb are very well known for “Cabaret” and “Chicago” and my absolute favourite “Kiss of the Spider Woman“. Their final collaboration is THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS which is playing in London at the Young Vic. Susan Stroman has directed a show that is firmly at the vaudevillian end of the Broadway spectrum with a strong sense of selling the songs in an almost circus style. She also manages to present with her excellent cast through pure song and dance a forceful important story.

The performances by the young strapping black cast are powerful and present a pallet of characters which give this production a lot of depth. James T Lane and Forrest McClendon stitch the story together seamlessly with character upon character as they marshal the other boys. Christian Dante White is hilarious when he plays one of the white women characters. I can’t stress enough the incredible range of these performers. Julian Glover in complete contrast plays a chilling old white crooked Uncle Sam type character at the centre of the proceedings.

Kander and Ebb write their shows around the darkest aspects of human nature shining light on the plight of those who are marginalised or disenfranchised. This is the true story of nine young African American boys put in prison in Alabama by the white establishment because of the accusations of a white woman. It was very rewarding to enjoy a night of sheer pure musical entertainment whilst learning about this landmark case in the ongoing struggle for human rights. Highly recommended.



From → Theatre

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