Meet the new West End cast of 'For Black Boys'
Cameron's play about Black male mental health returns to the West End in February with a new cast, but who will play Onyx, Pitch, Jet, Sable, Obsidian, and Midnight?
The journey of Ryan Calais Cameron's award-winning play For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Huge Gets Too Heavy from studio venue in London to the West End is remarkable. The play started out at New Diorama Theatre in 2021 before moving to the Royal Court for a limited five-week run. It then opened in the West End at the Apollo Theatre in 2023. Now it is set to return to the West End, just under a year later.
The play isn’t common West End fare, tackling the experiences of six Black men in a group therapy session. Reviews of the show have documented how audiences have cried, spontaneously applauded, called out their appreciation, and clicked their fingers during performances, visibly moved by what they have seen on stage.
But one thing is different about the play’s return to the West End next month. For the first time, the cast is changing, with six new faces taking to the stage as Onyx, Pitch, Jet, Sable, Obsidian, and Midnight. So who are the six men heading to the Garrick Theatre?
Book For Black Boys tickets on London Theatre.
Tobi King Bakare as Onyx
Bakare trained at RAaW, a London university specialising in film, theatre, and training. He is best known for his screen work, including seasons one and two of the Sky series Temple, a British medical crime drama starring Mark Strong and Daniel Mays, in which he appears as fugitive bank robber Jamie. He also stars in the fantasy drama series Cursed on Netflix, as well as Michaela Cole's sexual consent BBC series I May Destroy You, in which Bakare plays her on-screen brother Nicholas. He recently appeared in the four-part BBC series Marriage, starring Sean Bean and Nicola Walker.
He also led the short film Non Recyclables and was seen in the feature film Cerebrum, a sci-fi horror directed by Sebastien Blanc, which follows a son returning home after a mysterious accident to discover his mother is gone.
Bakare’s stage work includes his one-man play Before I Go, which had performances at Peckham Theatre and Camden People’s Theatre. The play follows Ajani, a young boy who dies and gets stuck in limbo. He also performed in Camden People’s Theatre’s Fog Everywhere, a show made by and with young people on the subject of air pollution.
Shakeel Haakim as Pitch
Haakim is in his final year at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. For Black Boys marks his professional debut. He has appeared in a number of shows at RADA including Romeo and Juliet, The Double Dealer, Antigone, Twelfth Night, Metamorphoses, and Debbie Tucker Green’s play A Profoundly Affectionate, Passionate Devotion to Someone (-Noun). He also appeared in the Lyric Hammersmith’s production of Abandon, a play devised by the Lyric Ensemble, which explores the day-to-day lives of 15 Londoners.
Fela Lufadeju as Jet
Lufadeju is a graduate of ArtsEd in London. He has appeared in stage productions across the UK, including the original cast of Chris Bush’s Sheffield-based musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge at Sheffield Crucible. He played Benny Southstreet in Guys and Dolls at Manchester’s Royal Exchange, Big Jack in a stage adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s Room at Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Abbey Theatre, and Jack Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest at Birmingham Rep and Leicester Curve. He also appeared in productions of Drunk and Chicago at Leicester Curve.
In London, Lufadeju has starred as Drifter in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at Aldwych Theatre and as Kaine in the musical Dessa Rose at Trafalgar Studios. He has joined two national tours as Seaweed in Hairspray and Jordan in Dirty Dancing.
Lufadeju had a small part as Rumi in I May Destroy You alongside Bakare. He also starred in the short films Demons and White Girl.
Albert Magashi as Sable
Magashi most recently appeared as Jadon Sancho and Kieran Trippier in the National Theatre and West End productions of James Graham’s Dear England, which explores the experience of football manager Gareth Southgate (played by Joseph Fiennes) and the national men’s football team.
He was awarded a scholarship to train at Italia Conti and was selected for the Young Actors Showcase in partnership with RADA, Guildhall and Theatre Royal Stratford East just before graduating.
His other work includes comedy-drama Still Up for Apple TV opposite Antonia Thomas and Blake Harrison and the thriller Firecracker, which is yet to be released. He also had a small part in Sherlock, opposite Benedict Cumberbatch.
Mohammed Mansaray as Obsidian
Mansaray has stage credits including I Love Acting but F**k this Industry at Theatre Peckham, about three Londoners trying to navigate their way through the industry post-pandemic. He starred in Much Ado About Nothing with the Royal Shakespeare Company and in Chichester Festival Theatre’s The Long Song, about the life of an enslaved woman on a sugarcane plantation. He was also in a UK, US and Canadian tour of Barbershop Chronicles.
His screen credits include coming-of-age comedy drama Boarders for the BBC and feature films The Cut, a thriller starring Orlando Bloom, and Gassed Up, about an organised crime ring.
Posi Morakinyo as Midnight
Morakinyo trained at Italia Conti in London and has a number of theatre credits including The Temptations musical Ain’t Too Proud at the Prince Edward Theatre. He played Nelson Mandela’s son Thembi in Mandela at the Young Vic and Raymond in Tina – The Tina Turner Musical. He also played Marty the zebra in a UK and international tour of Madagascar.
We are excited to see how the six new cast members interpret Cameron's play about Black male mental health in Britain.
Book For Black Boys tickets on London Theatre.
Photo credit: the new cast of For Black Boys. (Photo by Danny Kaan)
Originally published on