The Scottsboro Boys
It has just been announced that Kander and Ebb’s The Scottsboro Boys will be making its UK premiere in London later this year. Playing at the Young Vic from 18 October – 23 November, this will be the first time that the 12-time Tony nominated production will be shown outside of America.
The musical is based on a trial that rocked America in the 1930s and led, ultimately, to landmark changes in the American legal system. It tells the real-life story of nine black boys who are wrongly accused of raping two white girls and sentenced to death as a result. Their sentencing provoked protests that spread from Harlem to the White House, to retrials, resentencing and, through gross injustice, advances in civil liberties.
In 2002, Kander and Ebb met with five-time Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman (returning to directorial duties at the Young Vic) and playwright David Thompson to translate the story of the Scottsboro Boys into a musical. Why? They all believed that it is a story that needed to be told.
Described as ‘adventurous and dynamic’ (New York Times), stunning (Entertainment Weekly) and ‘one of the best-staged productions ever to come to Broadway’ (Wall Street Journal) during its run on Broadway, The Scottsboro Boys promises to be compelling, thrilling and daring – a crucial exploration on stage of one of the darkest periods in American History.
The musical couldn’t be happening at a more topical time. Years of campaigning, led by Sheila Washington, have led to legislature being brought forward that might finally exonerate the eight Scottsboro Boys who have yet to be pardoned 83 years after their arrest.
It will no doubt be the talk of the town when it hits The Young Vic this autumn: don’t miss out.