For Black Boys Who Have Considered… Returns to the West End

The Royal Court Theatre and Nimax Theatres have today announced that Ryan Calais Cameron’s Olivier-Award nominated For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy will return to London’s West End in 2024 following three previous sold-out runs, the latest at the Apollo Theatre earlier this year.

For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Get's Too Heavy, Previous Cast (c) Ali Wright
For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Get’s Too Heavy, Previous Cast (c) Ali Wright.

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 2024. Tickets will go on general sale at 2pm on Wednesday 22 November 2023, with 25% of all tickets available at £25 or under throughout the run. Priority booking is now open.

The play, which was nominated 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.

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: a world of music, movement, storytelling and verse – where six men clash and connect in a desperate bid for survival. Father figures and fashion tips. Lost loves and jollof rice. African empires and illicit sex. Good days and bad days. Six young Black men meet for group therapy, and let their hearts – and imaginations – run wild.

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.

Ryan Calais Cameron, playwright and Nouveau Riche Artistic Director, said: “I am thrilled by the prospect of For Black Boys… gracing the stage once more, delivering a compelling and thought-provoking narrative that has deeply resonated with both audiences and critics. It is truly humbling to witness how this production has also propelled the careers of the first remarkable actors who breathed life into these characters. Observing their excellence on renowned stages and in high-profile projects is a source of immense pride.

The opportunity to offer the roles to a new generation of actors brings profound joy. It is a testament to the ongoing dialogue sparked by “For Black Boys…” and a commitment to providing emerging talents with the chance to shine.”

Nica Burns said: “For Black Boys… is the most extraordinary piece of theatre balancing pain and heartbreak with joy and laughter. Life! Discovered by the critics, and enthusiastically embraced by the audiences, together they have roller-coasted it to this fourth production and we are delighted to give everyone another chance to join the conversation. Strictly limited season!”

Set design by Anna Reid, lighting design by Rory Beaton, Sound Design and Composition by Nicola T Chang, movement direction by Theophilus O. Bailey, musical direction and vocal arrangement by John Pfumojena and casting by Isabella Odoffin. Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu directed the show’s original run at the New Diorama Theatre. Casting will be announced in due course.

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. The West End production is presented by the Royal Court Theatre, Nimax Theatres, Nouveau Riche and the New Diorama Theatre.

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 50 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 ForBlackBoys@royalcourttheatre.com.

Although there are aspects of this play – perhaps because it’s built on the armature of Ntozake Shange’s seminal work – that didn’t wow me through structural or textual inventiveness, there is a pervading sense of courage in telling honest stories, vulnerably, that resonates. Review by Mary Beer

LISTINGS
Royal Court Theatre, Nica Burns, Hackney Empire, Sarah Verghese Production
Present
The Royal Court Theatre, Nouveau Riche and New Diorama Theatre production

For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy
Written and Directed by Ryan Calais Cameron
Original Direction by Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu

Garrick Theatre,
2 Charing Cross Rd,
London, WC2H 0HH

First Performance Thursday 29 February 2024
Final Performance Saturday 4 May 2024
Press Performance Thursday 7 March 2024, 7pm