For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this show – the title alone perhaps asking more questions than it answers.

What I wasn’t expecting was 2 ½ hours (that flew by) during which I felt every emotion possible.

Originating at The New Diorama Theatre in 2022, writer/director Ryan Calais Cameron’s play has enjoyed acclaimed transfers to the Royal Court and Apollo Theatre before this 9-week run at the Garrick Theatre – the first with a brand new cast. 

Taking a group therapy meeting as it’s premise, we follow the session through the experience of the six young black men to which the title refers – Jet, Obsidian, Onyx, Pitch, Midnight and Sable (their names cleverly all synonyms or associated with the colours black or dark brown).

Each character tells us their own unique story through dance, music, spoken word and/or poetry, stories of violence and of love, tales of heritage and history, of expectations and fears. ‘For Black Boys’ both exposes us to and asks us the question of what it means to be a young black man in modern Britain. There are times the show made me feel angry at others, sad but crucially this isn’t a depressing play, instead the darker elements of the stories are balanced with humour, lightness and positivity.

‘For Black Boys’ is a phenomenal example of modern writing and judging from the audience when I visited, this is also a play with wide appeal that resonates across race, age and gender. The cast are equally impressive to the extent it would be hard (and unfair) to single out any individual – there is no weak link in this production.

In summary – see this show, see it now, take your friends, take your family and experience something incredible.

This show was reviewed on the 9th March 2024 at the Garrick Theatre, London where it runs until the 4th May 2024.  Tickets available here: For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy - Garrick Theatre (thegarricktheatre.co.uk)

Review written by Mike Stocks

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