Thursday, 14 November 2013

'The Scottsboro Boys' Young Vic ****

The Young Vic this autumn has a success it it's midst. 'The Scottsboro Boys' written by David Thompson depicts a group of nine young black men from Scottsboro, Alabama in the 1930s who are arrested due to a supposed rape but we understand was completely false and wrongly accused. It's quite a poignant show that conveys a historical theme which is racism and it makes you think about how you have to respect other people no matter what race you are and your background. The narrative is clear as it is a timeline from 1931-1937 and explores the young men's journey within their imprisonment and the story is superb. I found the music and lyrics by John Kandor and Fred Ebb were emotionally captivating as it suggests the themes in a most creative way indeed. It also encapsulates the liveliness energy the company does in performing those musical numbers. I think that the performance by the entire cast were beautifully presented as they engage an array of audiences through spectacular acting, dancing and vocals. The leader of the Scottsboro Boys Haywood Patterson who endeavours to clear his name has been performed spectacularly by Kyle Scatliffe as he understands the raw historical and political contexts that are exuded through the script and the delivery of his performance were heart wrenching and was highly believable. In addition, Julian Glover's portrayal of The Interlocutor is especially pleasing as he plays quite an unpleasant individual who tries to imprision these innocent young men for his own personal gain. Susan Stroman's direction and choreography is phenomenal as she seems to capture the Southern USA views on black people to a more sensitive approach but some aspects do incense you because of the racist dialogue. A well directed and choreographed production. The set design by Beowulf Boritt and costumes designed by Toni-Leslie James were wonderfully designed as it depicts the higherachy of faces within the USA from the 1930's in an extraordinary way. I think that 'The Scottsboro Boys' is the musical theatre production of this autumn and one you should attempt to see.  

1 comment:

  1. I found the style of the show somewhat old hat and patronising though and isn't the sort of musical that belongs in the West End, anywhere in modern Britain for that matter now. It's 2015, not 1815!!!

    I found it too silly in tone for what really should have been portrayed as a serious drama, that though based on events 85 years ago is sadly all too pertinent today with what's been going on in America in cities like Ferguson and Missouri.

    This is my full take on the show.