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Lolita Chakrabarti’s multi award-winning play Red Velvet is the third production to feature as part of the Kenneth Branagh Season at the Garrick Theatre. Originally premiering at the Tricycle Theatre before transferring to St Ann’s Warehouse, Red Velvet has received wide acclaim.
In 1833 at the Theatre Royal Covent Garden, the greatest actor of the generation, Edmund Kean, collapses on stage during a performance of Othello. Young African American actor Ira Aldridge is drafted in as a replacement, but on the streets the public are rioting about the abolition of slavery. How will the cast, critics and audience react when a whole new kind of revolution is taking place in the theatre?
Directed by Indhu Rubasingham, Adrian Lester reprises his role as Ira Aldridge. Graduating from RADA, Lester is well-known for his performance in the hit TV series Hustle, as well as featuring in the James Bond film The Day After Tomorrow and has worked extensively in the theatre, his credits including Othello, Henry V and Hamlet. He has been nominated for Best Actor twice for his performance in Red Velvet, once in 2012 at the Whatsonstage Awards and in 2013 at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
Additional cast members include Ayesha Antoine as Connie, Simon Chandler as Bernard Warde/Terence, Alexander Cobb as Henry Forrester/Casimir, Mark Edel-Hunt as Charles Kean, Emun Elliot as Pierre Laporte, Charlotte Lucas as Ellen Tree, Caroline Martin as Halina Wozniak/Margaret Aldridge and Amy Morgan as Betty Lovell.
Branagh said “Writing, direction and performance are exceptional in Red Velvet. I’m immensely proud to be presenting this work. I was aware of its development from its inception and believe Chakrabarti has written an important and exhilarating play which in its discussion of performance, politics, and race is as entertaining as it is illuminating.”
Red Velvet will open January 23rd and is booking until February 27th 2016 at the Garrick Theatre.