Parade by Jason Robert Brown at Southwark Playhouse
Parade, with music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown and book by Alfred Uhry, at The Vault at Southwark Playhouse, in south London from 10 Aug to 17 Sep 2011.
Directed by Thom Southerland, designed by John Risebero, lighting by Howard Hudson, sound by Andrew Johnson, choreography by Tim Jackson. Musical Director Michael Bradley. Produced by Danielle Tarento in association with Joe Fredericks and Southwark Playhouse.
Parade centres on a true incident - the 1913 trial of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank, who was accused and convicted of raping and murdering a 13-year-old employee, Mary Phagan. The trial, sensationalised by the US media, aroused antisemitic tensions in Atlanta and the state of Georgia. When Frank's death sentence was commuted to life in prison by the departing Governor of Georgia, John M. Slaton due to his detailed review of over 10,000 pages of testimony and possible problems with the trial, Leo Frank was transferred to a prison in Milledgeville, Georgia, where a lynching party seized and kidnapped him. Frank was taken to Phagan's hometown of Marietta, Georgia, and he was hanged from an oak tree. The events surround the investigation and trial led to two groups emerging, the revival of the defunct KKK and the birth of the Jewish Civil Rights organisation. Parade covers the trial, and also dramatises the love story between Leo and his wife Lucille, at the same time subtley examining class and race relations, prejudice, and the Deep South.