The tale of the Scottsboro Boys is a tough story to believe. Based on true events, this musical looks at the story of the falsely accused southern black young men of a rape on a train. The satirical play shows the injustice and the apartheid in southern America… something that seems strange for a musical, no?
Cleverly, the writers of this performance have hit on a range of events of this era (1930’s onwards) of this appalling discrimination. Setting the group of black performers to perform their story as a minstrel show, we begin to see how mistreated these humans were. There’s an element of comedy but more of a focus on the ridiculous nature of views of this time and with this in mind, these accomplished performers produce a stunning and hard-hitting performance.
Instead of using a range of cast to perform the parts of the ‘white folk’, a handful of the performers used small costume changes and prop additions to highlight the change, but mostly this is shown in their over-acted and almost parody of these characters. Somehow, to see these parodies would sound unfitting for such a tough story, but it fits correctly to humiliate the wrong opinions, the poor reflection of human nature and the insolence of these characters.
The Scottsboro Boys portrays a sad reality, with no happy ending. The musical numbers pull at the heart-strings and make you hate the white people who were wrong. And somehow, this seems a perfect way to bring this story to the forefront of the public. With a standing ovation and tears swept from the corners of many in the theatre, this performance is not only different but a daring addition to the West End.