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British RoyalsPrince & Princess of Wales

The Cambridges hit the West End for special performance of Dear Evan Hansen

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a special performance of Dear Evan Hansen on the West End Tuesday night in support of their Royal Foundation.

In a playbill message for the performance, William wrote:

“Catherine and I are delighted to join you this evening for a special charity performance of Dear Evan Hansen at the Noel Coward Theatre.

“One of the issues that we care passionately about is mental health and we are pleased that Dear Evan Hansen is helping to start important conversations between parents and teenagers about this important subject.

“Through initiatives including Heads Together and Heads Up, the Royal Foundation is helping tackle the stigma and change the conversation around mental health.

“We are particularly proud that Shout , a mental health support service launched by the Royal Foundation, is one of four not-for-profit partners of Dear Evan Hansen providing mental health resources to audiences of the show.

“As we look to the future, we will continue to deliver ambitious change and genuine, sustainable solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face – including the environment and ensuring young people get the best possible start in life.”

Dear Evan Hansen tells the story of a teenage boy who lives with social anxiety. According to its West End theatre page, it’s about “a letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a dream he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in.”

The musical won the Tony Award for Best Musical, as well as five other awards, in 2017; and won the Grammy Award for Best Theatre Album in 2018. The show premiered on the West End last November and will be eligible for awards this year.

William and Kate arrived at the Noel Coward Theatre shortly before the performance time and met with the musical’s writer, and its composers, among others.

Following the performance, Prince William gave a few remarks backstage to cast members, and he revealed that he and the Duchess really enjoyed the performance.

“You nailed it with the humour. There are so many emotions and feelings. You had every spectrum,” he told the cast, telling them that he was worried beforehand that it may be too serious of a musical, with its themes, or that it may be too thin, but that it hit the right balance.

“We’re so honoured to partner with The Royal Foundation for this very special performance,” said Dear Evan Hansen’s producer, Stacey Mindich, in a statement when the show was announced last week.

“The Duke and Duchess have been incredible advocates for mental health and like Dear Evan Hansen, they have made important strides in helping to destigmatise the conversation.”

Dear Evan Hansen’s West End run is supported by non-profit partners in the mental health sector, including Shout, the text support line for people who need someone to talk to that was launched last year by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Jason Knauf, the CEO of the Royal Foundation, said in a statement last week, “Under the leadership of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Royal Foundation has worked to challenge stigma around mental health and to shine a spotlight on the pressures young people face through social media. Dear Evan Hansen brings these issues to life with warmth and humour. We are very grateful to the show for helping us raise funds and awareness with this special performance.”

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.