Albert Magashi on joining the cast of 'For Black Boys' in the West End

The Dear England actor talks about performing in the West End as Sable in Ryan Calais Cameron’s powerful play about six young, Black men in group therapy.

Olivia Rook
Olivia Rook

What is the winning formula for the new cast of Ryan Calais Cameron’s groundbreaking play For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Huge Gets Too Heavy? “There’s no hierarchy,” says Albert Magashi, who plays Sable in this show, which explores the joys and challenges of being a young, Black man. “It doesn’t matter what you’ve done previously. It’s all about putting the work first. It’s all down to just being humble.”

Humble is the perfect way to describe 22-year-old Magashi, who started his acting career with a scholarship to prestigious London acting school Itali Conti at the tender age of 14. Cameron’s play, which sees six young men convene for group therapy, marks his second professional project on a West End stage in six months, following his debut as footballer Jadon Sancho in James Graham’s football-inspired drama Dear England. London Theatre Magazine spoke with Magashi about why he was drawn to the role and how he unwinds with Love Island.

Book For Black Boys tickets on London Theatre.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

What did you learn from starring in Dear England?

I feel so fortunate to have it as my first professional play. I learned so much from everyone, especially Joseph [Fiennes] who taught me what it means to be a good leading man, which is simply being an ensemble member. He would get down, do the push-ups with the boys, and completely engross himself in this culture we built during rehearsals.

Tell us about playing Sable

I was drawn to Sable because I felt like I knew exactly who he was. Although he can come across as quite arrogant, I saw a real vulnerability in him and felt quite protective of the character. I hadn’t done anything like it before. The character would require me to be so vulnerable that I thought I had to audition. I just wanted to be seen for it and show what I can do with the character.

Why should audiences see For Black Boys?

I don’t think there’s anything out there like it at the moment. I think it incorporates every storytelling medium. If you’re someone that maybe isn’t into musicals or might find a straight play boring, I think this is a perfect middle ground. Although the title can be quite intimidating and scary, I promise you there’s so much light in the play.

How do you switch off after rehearsing?

This is so embarrassing, but I would go home and watch Love Island. I used to watch it and I stopped, and this year I thought, you know what? No, this is character research. Sable is the type of character who would go on Love Island, so I can allow myself to watch it and not feel embarrassed.

Do you have a dream role you’d love to play?

For the stage, I would love to do a Shakespeare, like Hamlet. I think every actor probably wants to try that and take it on. For film, I'd love to work with Ruben Östlund, who is this incredible filmmaker. He recently created Triangle of Sadness and another film called Force Majeure, which is one of my favourites. He's the perfect example of how you can mix something quite dramatic, but also layer some humour in it.

Book For Black Boys tickets on London Theatre.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

Photo credit: Albert Magashi. (Photo by Danny Kaan)

Originally published on

Subscribe to our newsletter to unlock exclusive London theatre updates!

Special offers, reviews and release dates for the best shows in town.

You can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy