Entertainment

William and Kate attend charity performance of hit musical Dear Evan Hansen

The performance was in aid of the Royal Foundation, which is working to encourage more people to talk openly about their mental health.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have attended a special charity performance of the Tony award-winning hit musical Dear Evan Hansen.

The show’s title character struggles to fit in and make friends at school in a musical which tackles the agonies of youth along with dark topics such as teen suicide, depression and relationships.

The performance at London’s Noel Coward Theatre was in aid of the Royal Foundation, which is working to encourage more people to talk openly about their mental health and to try to tackle the stigma surrounding the issue.

A beaming Kate was wearing a black dress by Eponine and a pair of sparkly silver shoes, while William sported a navy suit and tie.

Before taking their seats, the couple had a quick chat with some of the talent behind the show, including composers Justin Paul, Benj Pastel and author Steven Legend along with show producer Stacey Mindich.

In a personal message, William said mental health is an issue that he and Kate “care passionately” about.

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the Noel Coward Theatre in London to attend a special performance of Dear Evan Hansen
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the Noel Coward Theatre to attend a special performance of Dear Evan Hansen (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

In the message, which was printed on the back of the programme for the show, the duke also said he and Kate were “pleased that Dear Evan Hansen is helping to start important conversations between parents and teenagers about this important subject”.

He also spoke of his pride that Shout, a mental health support service launched by the Royal Foundation, is one of four not-for-profit partners of the show.

William is currently spearheading a campaign, called Heads Up, in which football teams up and down the country try to help raise awareness of the fact that mental health is just as important as physical health.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the Noel Coward Theatre in London to attend a special performance of Dear Evan Hansen
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arriving at the theatre (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

It follows on from the Heads Together campaign, which is also backed by the senior royals.

It tries to encourage people in Britain to talk openly about mental health and urges those who need it to seek the services that might help.

In his message, William said the aim is to try to help “tackle the stigma and change the conversation around mental health” through these initiatives.

The show, which is also playing on Broadway, where it won six Tony Awards, has been a sell-out success since opening in London’s West End late last year.

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