Today, the Royal Court Theatre and Nimax Theatres welcomes six new cast members to the For Black Boys… family. Starring in the iconic roles of Onyx, Pitch, Jet, Sable, Obsidian and Midnight are a powerful new blend of talented actors including Tobi King Bakare, Shakeel Haakim making his professional debut, Fela Lufadeju, Albert Magashi, Mohammed Mansaray and Posi Morakinyo respectively.
The brand-new ensemble will be directed by Ryan Calais Cameron. The six will bring their own interpretation and lived experiences to their respective roles, infusing a fresh dynamic and energy to this transformative theatrical experience which uniquely mixes music, movement, storytelling and verse.
Writer Ryan Calais Cameron was inspired by Ntozake Shange’s seminal work For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf. For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy is located on the threshold of joyful fantasy and brutal reality where six men clash and connect in a desperate bid for survival.
About the new cast Ryan Calais Cameron, writer and Nouveau Riche Artistic Director, said: “The themes explored in the play are timeless, and I am genuinely thrilled about the prospect of witnessing the new cast infuse their own unique energy and brilliance into the production. Each member brings a wealth of talent and dedication to their roles, and I am confident that their interpretation will breathe new life into the narrative.
Nica Burns producer and theatre owner said: “Ryan Calais Cameron’s exceptional, groundbreaking play brought a new audience in to the West End’s Apollo Theatre in 2023, selling out the run. Responding to public demand, we are delighted to be bringing For Black Boys back to the Garrick Theatre with a completely new cast. It is especially fitting that the original commissioner of the play at the New Diorama, the visionary David Byrne, is now producing it again with us as the new Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre. This is a wonderful night in the theatre, so book your tickets quickly!”
Movement direction and choreography is by Theophilus O. Bailey, musical direction and vocal arrangement by John Pfumojena, sound design and composition by Nicola T. Chang. Set and costume design by Anna Reid, lighting design by Rory Beaton. Joining the creative team as associate director is Tatenda Shamiso. Casting by Isabella Odoffin.
The production will run for a strictly limited season of nine weeks at the Garrick Theatre with previews from Thursday 29 February and Press Night on Thursday 7 March. As part of the overall aims of the production 25% of all tickets available will be priced at £25 or under throughout its run.
The double Olivier Award nominated play shortlisted for Best New Play and Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 2023 Olivier Awards sold out its original run at the New Diorama Theatre, its subsequent transfer to the Royal Court Theatre and its initial West End run at the Apollo Theatre. The production has received widespread critical and public acclaim garnering notable fans such as John Boyega, David Harewood, Daniel Kaluuya, Beverley Knight, Rapman, Stormzy and Letitia Wright.
The play was originally conceived by Ryan Calais Cameron in the wake of the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and has been developed over the course of the last decade with young Black men and mental health groups.
For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy was originally commissioned by New Diorama Theatre, co-commissioned by Boundless Theatre. Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu directed the show’s original run at the New Diorama Theatre. Royal Court Theatre, Nica Burns, Tegan Summer Theatricals, Hackney Empire, Sarah Verghese Productions Present
The Royal Court Theatre, Nouveau Riche and New Diorama Theatre production.
Outreach and Community Tickets
The Royal Court continues with the West End partners to remain committed to diversifying and providing accessible ticket prices for every performance. They are offering a number of tickets at £15 or less to individuals, youth groups, community groups and charities who would like to experience the show and otherwise would not be able to afford to. For more information, email [email protected].
Tobi King Bakare plays Onyx
Shakeel Haakim plays Pitch
Fela Lufadeju plays Jet
Albert Magashi plays Sable
Mohammed Mansaray plays Obsidian
Posi Morakinyo plays Midnight
Writer & Director: Ryan Calais Cameron
Original Director: Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu
Designer: Anna Reid
Lighting Designer: Rory Beaton
Sound Designer & Composer: Nicola T. Chang
Movement Director & Choreographer: Theophilus O. Bailey
Musical Director & Vocal Arrangement: John Pfumojena
Associate Director: Tatenda Shamiso
Associate Designer: Noemi Daboczi
Associate Lighting Designer: Jack Ryan
Vocal Coach: Salvatore Sorce
Assistant Choreographer: Jade Hackett
Company Stage Managers: Constance Oak & Mica Taylor
Deputy Stage Manager: Jade Hunter
Assistant Stage Manager: Emily Obasohan
Wellbeing Practitioner: Rukiya Jemmott
Outreach Manager: Jade Franks
Outreach Coordinator: Selorm Adonu