“For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy” is a powerful and moving production that tackles mental health and its impact on young black men. Written and directed by Ryan Calais Cameron, the play is inspired by Ntozake Shange’s seminal work “For Coloured Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf”.
The production, which initially opened at the New Diorama Theatre in association with Nouveau Riche, transferred to the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs last spring, where it sold out its entire run. Now, it will make its West End debut at the Apollo Theatre from March 25 to May 7, 2023.
The play tells the story of six young black men who meet for group therapy and let their hearts and imaginations run wild. The story is set on the threshold of joyful fantasy and brutal reality, where the men clash and connect in a desperate bid for survival. Themes include father figures, fashion tips, lost loves and jollof rice, African empires and illicit sex, and good and bad days.
The production was originally conceived by Ryan Calais Cameron in the wake of the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2013 and has been developed over the past decade with young black men and mental health groups. The entire original cast, who collectively won the best performer in a play category at The Stage Debut Awards in 2022, will return for this new production, including Mark Akintimehin, Emmanuel Akwafo, Nnabiko Ejimofor, Darragh Hand, Aruna Jalloh and Kaine Lawrence.
“A West End transfer of For Black Boys, will be a momentous occasion for my community and those who have taken the show into their hearts. We really hope this show will drastically change the commercial theatre landscape by ensuring theatre is for everyone and reflects our society; we could not have gotten this far without the immense support of our advocates and audiences.”Ryan Calais Cameron, playwright and Nouveau Riche Artistic Director
“For Black Boys is an utterly original, compelling and illuminating play, beautifully written by the outstanding talent that is Ryan Calais Cameron and performed by an exciting cast who collectively won the best performance category in The Stage Debut Awards. Whilst dealing with important and serious issues the play is also funny, joyful and exuberant. This is a terrific evening for both new audiences and regular playgoers and is a fantastic must-see addition to the landscape of the West End. We are very proud to be presenting it at the Apollo theatre.”Nica Burns
For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy is a must-see production that tackles important and timely issues with sensitivity, honesty, and a sense of hope. Tickets go on general sale from 10am on Friday 20 January, with prices starting at £15 for each performance. Click here to book the tickets.