For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy ★★★★ Garrick Theatre | Feb 29 - May 4, 2024

Writer Ryan Calais Cameron was inspired to create this extraordinary theatrical experience by the 1974 choreopoem, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf. Premiered in 2021, it is now in its fourth iteration, and the show uses a variety of media to convey its message. Song, dance, and drama are intertwined to deliver a thoughtful look at how identity is developed and assumed. The characters are overwhelmed by racial and gender assumptions made by both the white community and the black community, assumptions which they also internalise. This burden of expectation not only denies their individuality, it also threatens to smother them. The show then traces the breaking down of their conceptions about themselves and of the stereotypes that have been thrust upon them. They move to build an open, supportive kinship that recognises their uniqueness and allows them to defy their own preconceptions and those placed upon them. This is a forcefully affirmative piece that should speak to everyone who has struggled with the issue of self-acceptance. To the production all six members of the cast bring amazing skill sets which ensure that the audience's attention never wanders. The dance moves are crisp. The vocal harmonies are outstanding and the dramatic performances are moving. This a show that provides a profound insight into the lives and struggles of young black men, but it should also speak to everyone.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Johan Persson

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