‘For Black Boys’ Unveils New Cast for London West End Return

Ryan Calais Cameron’s Olivier nominated “For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy” has unveiled a new cast for its return to London’s West End.

In the play, six young Black men meet for group therapy, and let their hearts and imaginations run wild. Starring in the roles of Onyx, Pitch, Jet, Sable, Obsidian and Midnight are Tobi King Bakare (“I May Destroy You”), Shakeel Haakim making his professional debut, Fela Lufadeju (“Santiago”), Albert Magashi (“Dear England”), Mohammed Mansaray (“Gassed Up”) and Posi Morakinyo (“Mandela”) respectively.

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Cameron was inspired by Ntozake Shange’s seminal 1976 work “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf.” It was originally conceived by 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.

Cameron will direct the new production. 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 is by Anna Reid, lighting design by Rory Beaton with Tatenda Shamiso as associate director. Casting is by Isabella Odoffin.

The play, which had two nominations 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 new production will be a nine-week engagement at London’s Garrick Theatre from Feb. 29.

Cameron 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 theater owner added: “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.”

Image: Top Row: Albert Magashi, Mohammed Mansaray, Fela Lufadeju.
Bottom Row: Posi Morakinyo, Shakeel Haakim and Tobi King Bakare.

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