12 October – 6 November
a new show from Nouveau Riche
by Ryan Calais Cameron
directed by Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu
at New Diorama Theatre
World premiere. Commissioned by New Diorama Theatre.
Co-commissioned by Boundless Theatre.
‘I found a king in me and now I love you
I found a king in you and now I love me’
Father figures and fashion tips. Lost loves and jollof rice. African empires and illicit sex. Good days and bad days. Six young Black men meet for group therapy, and let their hearts – and imaginations – run wild.
For Black Boys is located on the threshold of joyful fantasy and brutal reality: a world of music, movement, storytelling and verse – where six men clash and connect in a desperate bid for survival. A profound and playful new work from multi-award-winning company Nouveau Riche and playwright Ryan Calais Cameron, whose 2021 film Typical was heralded as a landmark event in digital theatre.
★★★★★ ‘Ryan Calais Cameron’s astounding play… mesmerising’
The Guardian on Typical
★★★★ ‘A theatrical firework… song, movement and spoken word’
The Independent on Queens of Sheba
Winners: The Stage Edinburgh Award 2018, Underbelly & New Diorama Untapped Award 2018, OffWestEnd Award for Best Performance Piece 2020.
Nouveau Riche is a diverse, multi-award-winning creative movement led by artistic director Ryan Calais Cameron. The company’s 2019 play Typical sold out its Edinburgh Fringe run and was filmed for Soho on Demand during lockdown. Previous show Queens of Sheba won the Underbelly & New Diorama Untapped Award for its Edinburgh run before touring.
The development of For Black Boys was supported through Boundless Accelerator, a creative development programme from Boundless Theatre funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation.
New Diorama Theatre
Box office: 020 7383 9034
12 October – 6 November
Tuesday – Saturday
7.30pm & 3pm matinees
Captioned and relaxed performances, dates TBC
Aruna Jalloh is a multi-faceted Artist that has a BA Honours degree in American Theatre Arts at Rose Bruford College, which has equipped him with tools to create and be a part of different styles of Theatre. He’s devoted his career to creating theatrical art, as well as film, that is new, powerful and gripping which also contributes to the discussion of what it means to develop as a society. Apart from that he loves spontaneous adventures, staycations and bike rides during the sunset and all of this to be accompanied with great music and tasty foods. Some of his previous work includes being in Cbiz’s Obession music video, “Glockenspiel” at Tristan Bates Theatre and working with LittleFish Theatre who have a strong focus on creating issue-based theatre for secondary school students.
Emmanuel Akwafo is a British/Ghanaian actor, writer and director. Emmanuel graduated from De Montfort University with a BA HONS in Contemporary Performing Arts and was awarded ‘Theatre Actor of the Year’ by Leicester Curve in 2014. Emmanuel was born in Greenwich, London to Swiss and Ghanaian parents. His career blossomed at a young age after being scouted by a children’s agent. Emmanuel was quickly cast in play’s and children’s shows for CBBC, Channel 4, BBC Radio Drama.
Kaine graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts this year and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre. He feels ‘very privileged and blessed’ to be making his acting debut in a play as bold, relevant and necessary as ‘For Black Boys’.
Although For Black Boys is Kaine’s first professional credit, some of his credits whilst training at Mountview consist of Cacambo in Candide, Princess Serephina in Mother Clap’s Molly, Watchman in Agamemnon’s return and Newt Lee in Parade.
Hi, I’m Nnabiko Ejimofor and to be honest I don’t like talking about myself, let alone writing a bio… so I guess that’s why I decided to do acting; art became my voice.”
The RADA graduate is making his first debut with For Black Boys. Whilst at Drama school Nnabiko played an array of characters including Brutus from Julius Caesar and Sergeant Adeyemi from Close Quarters. Although acting is his first love, I also has a dance background and previous to his studies active as dancer for BOY BLUE ENTERTAINMENT, as well lead performer in the multi-award winning movement film “FIGURE”. Performing ‘For Black Boys’ at the New Diorama Theatre will be my debut play and I’m extremely lucky to be with such a lovely ensemble, working on a piece of writing that is so beautiful and important.
With For Black Boys, Mark Ayodeji Akintimehin is making his first professional performance since lockdown and In He attended Identity School of Drama, and graduated from The National Youth Theatre and Intermission Youth Theatre. Some of his most notable work include, “Somewhere In London 2” (SWIL2) with Michael Dapaah and “Shakespeare within the Abbey” with The Globe Theatre.
Darragh Hand, is a recent graduate from LCM Acting. This is his first professional play, however, played the roles of “Banquo” from “Macbeth” and “Craig” from Simon Stephens “Fatherland” during drama school. During the pandemic Darragh has spent a lot of his time reading books, staying active by playing a little footie and tried his best at writing.
Ryan is a writer for Theatre and TV.
Theatre: Ryan’s play TYPICAL, which starred Richard Blackwood, sold out its run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019 and its transfer to Soho Theatre Upstairs, garnering 4 star reviews across the board. Soho Theatre filmed the performance which is now available on Soho Theatre-On-Demand. QUEENS OF SHEBA, co-written with Jessica Hagan, won the 2018 Edinburgh Untapped Award. QUEENS’ 4 week run at Edinburgh Fringe Fest 2018 sold out, garnering 4 and 5 star reviews across the board and winning the Edinburgh Stage Award 2018; it transferred to the New Diorama Theatre, London (where it also sold out) and it went on national tour in 2019 coming in to Battersea Arts Centre in November. The screen rights were optioned by Tiger Aspect for a half hour Comedy adaptation to be written by Ryan and Jessica. Ryan was the winner of the 2018 Off West End ‘Adopt A Playwright Award’ for his play RHAPSODY, which was produced at the Arcola in March of that year. RETROGRADE, which he wrote on his year of ‘adoption’, was shortlisted for the 2019 Alfred Fagon Award and Verity Bargate Award 2020. Ryan is an alumnus of the Royal Court writer’s programme 2017 and the Soho Young Company 2016/17. He recently contributed to the Royal Court’s ‘Living Newspaper’: Edition 2 and is currently under commission to the Royal Court, the Arcola, Soho Theatre and Theatre Centre.
TV: Ryan has participated in writers rooms including DO RIGHT AND FEAR NO-ONE for Element Pictures. He is developing several original series with indies which include: ANGEL TOWN (Stephen Garrett/Character 7), MY BROTHERS’ KEEPER (Warp Films), BLERD with Mathilda Ibini (Wychwood) and an adapation of BLOOD RIGHTS (Red Planet).
Ryan’s first play TIMBUKTU was part of the Bush Theatre’s Black Lives Black Words Festival 2016, a festival of radical new BAME voices. It was revived in February 2018 for a run at The Stratford Theatre Royal East which sold out.
Ryan is also a professional Actor. His work in Theatre includes Mogadishu (Manchester Royal Exchange/Lyric Hammersmith), The West Bridge (The Royal Court), The Dug out (The Tobacco Factory) and Sponge (Old Vic New Voices). TV/Film credits include Luther (BBC) Jekyll and Hyde (ITV), The Coroner (BBC), Suspects (Channel 5), Casualty (BBC), Honey Trap (Bright Pictures) and The Interceptor (BBC) Cilla (ITV).
Tristan has directed at The Young Vic, Albany Deptford, Theatre Royal Straftford East,National Theatre etc . He is an associate director of companies Initiative.dkf and Playback Drama. Tristan holds a 1st Class BA Honours in Drama , Theatre and Performance with English Literature from Roehampton University and was trained on the Stonecrabs Young Directors Programme and the Young Vic Springboard Programme. He was the winner of the 2019 JMK Directors Award.
Jacob Roberts-Mensah and Ebenezer Bamgboye – Director of Nouveau Riche‘s ‘For Black Boys’ – reflect on their experience of participating in Boundless Accelerator and working on the play, exploring young…
In 2018 we asked our Advisory Group what stories they wanted to see on stage, what was missing or misrepresented, what we should be doing better. Across the board, they…