The Royal Court Theatre and Nimax’s Nica Burns have announced that For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy by Ryan Calais Cameron will transfer to the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End for a limited 6-week run.
The show sold-out at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs last year, and was originally a hit at the New Diorama Theatre in London in association with Nouveau Riche.
The show will run at the Apollo Theatre from 25 March to 7 May 2023.
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 sees six men clash and connect in a desperate bid for survival as they 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 2013 and has been developed over the course of the last decade with young black men and mental health groups. Over 100 men auditioned for the production in 2021 .
The full original cast return for this new production, directed by Ryan Calais Cameron. The cast, who collectively won the best performer in a play category at The Stage Debut Awards in 2022 and will be making their West End debuts, and include Mark Akintimehin, Emmanuel Akwafo, Nnabiko Ejimofor, Darragh Hand, Aruna Jalloh and Kaine Lawrence.
The show’s set and costume design is by Anna Reid, with lighting design by Rory Beaton, additional music and sound design by Nicola T Chang, movement direction by Theophilus O. Bailey and musical direction by John Pfumojena. Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu directed the show’s original run at New Diorama Theatre.
Ryan Calais Cameron, playwright and Nouveau Riche Artistic Director, said in a press statement: “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.”
Nica Burns said: “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.”
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, Nica Burns, New Diorama Theatre and Nouveau Riche. Other producers include Hackney Empire, Jane Featherstone, Elisabeth Murdoch and Sarah Verghese.
Check out the trailer for For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy