The Scottsboro Boys … sadly relevant

When I went: 2 January 2015

Music Owl Hoot rating: 3/5

Location: Garrick Theatre, London

Performers: Brandon Victor Dixon (Haywood Patterson), Colman Domingo (Mr. Bones), Forrest McClendon (Mr. Tambo), James T. Lane (Ozie Powell), Julian Glover (the Interlocutor)

Creative team: David Thompson (book), John Kander (music), Fred Ebb (lyrics), Susan Strowman (director)

Approximate price: £67

Special points: Historical basis

Best bit: Courtroom scenes

If I could change one thing: More killer songs


The musical:

The Scottsboro Boys, which focuses heavily on the themes of racial tension and prejudice, is based on historical events. David Thompson’s book is very solid and gets the point across very effectively. Unfortunately, the music is nowhere near as strong, so while you are left with a strong impression of the story you don’t hear the songs in your head afterwards.

This performance:

All the performers were on point and worked together very well. I didn’t know before seeing the performance that one feature of this show is that black actors always portray all but one of the parts, which made for an interesting and sometimes comedic take on how the characters of different races regarded each other.

I was left with the feeling that more people should know about this show, but I wished some of the songs had been more memorable.

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