The Scottsboro Boys put on a Hell of Show!

The Scottsboro Boys put on a Hell of Show!


So following my post last week, (please click here to read) I actually followed through and went to support the show. But it seems not many other black people got the memo, the audience contained only four black supporters and one was myself. We always complain about the lack of black characters or shows, so it is sad to see a theatre show with an all black cast, highlighting an important time in black history, with hardly any black supporters, we really must change this!

The all black cast, apart from the white interlocutor, positioned us with a new twist on minstrelsy. It was hilarious to see Dex Lee and James T Lane, as a double act playing two white women. Although a very serious topic, they kept it quite light-hearted and panto-ish, my favourite however was Brandon Victor Dixon who reinforced the seriousness of the story. Dixon, played Haywood Patterson, one of the nine boys falsely accused, even when offered a chance of freedom by pleading guilty, he stayed true to himself.

Garrick Theatre, not the best theatre in London, didn’t do much justice to showcasing the show as it was small and didn’t leave much room for props. Like I mentioned previously I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and I was blown away with the scenery, and that was just a fictional story, so I was a little surprised to see that when it came to a real life story it lacked the lustre of a usual big west end production. At the Garrick theatre I literally felt like I had gone back in time to the 1930’s but this could have been the aim, by letting the strong performances tell the story.

I have to applaud the nine boys that portrayed the Scottsboro Boys, they gave the most energetic, heartfelt performances. The singing was full of emotion and the dancing kept my eyes mesmerised. The cast was so phenomenal and talented, I even felt myself dancing and singing along at times, their passion was that fiery. I think having the black actors also portraying the white figures in the story highlighted just how heavily the world relies on race and how each of these boys, were innocent, the only crime was the colour of their skin, their blackness.

I think the audience were in just as much awe as I was as it was when it received with a standing ovation. The cast I can’t fault, there’s still time to go and see the show before it leaves in February…please support!

-Rhea Agard


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