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Red Velvet
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"It’s like being at a crossroads - a point of absolute, unequivocal change. It makes the blood rush."


Olivier-award winning actor Adrian Lester plays Ira Alridge in the world premiere of Lolita Chakrabarti’s new play, Red Velvet, which launches Indhu Rubasingham’s reign as the Tricycle Theatre’s new Artistic Director. The play is set in the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, in 1833. Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his generation, has collapsed on stage whilst playing Othello. A young black American actor, Ira Aldridge, has been asked to take over the role. But, as the public riot in the streets, how will the cast, critics and audience react to the revolution taking place in the theatre?

Imagined experiences based on the often-forgotten, but true, story of Ira Aldridge, an African-American actor who, in the nineteenth century, built an incredible reputation on the stages of London and Europe.
Bloomsbury Publishing; Read online