Kander and Ebb musical The Scottsboro Boys will receive its UK premiere at the Young Vic in October, directed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (The Producers).
The show, which premiered Off-Broadway in 2010, tells the true story of nine young black men, aged between 12 and 19, who were falsely accused of rape by two white women while travelling on a train through Scottsboro, Alabama in the 1930s. Their subsequent trials and appeals, lasting seven years, deeply divided the nation.
The case led to the passage of two pivotal Supreme Court rulings, including the right to proper legal representation and the right to trial by a jury of one's peers, specifically ensuring that black people could no longer be excluded from juries.
The Scottsboro Boys runs from 18 October to 23 November in the Young Vic's main house. Public booking opens on 28 February.
Young Vic artistic director David Lan said: "The story of the Scottsboro Boys is an infamous case in the history of American civil rights. Who else but Kander and Ebb could see in it the possibility of a musical? It's a truly visionary work - a plea for social harmony but, even more important, for justice. From the moment I heard about it, I knew it was a natural for us."
Susan Stroman added: "I am thrilled David Lan and the Young Vic are bringing The Scottsboro Boys to London audiences. Like Chicago and Cabaret before it, Kander and Ebb have written a musical about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances."
- Katie Parker