REVIEW: Red Velvet, Tricycle Theatre (2012)
Adrian Lester as Ira Aldridge - Photo: Tristram Kenton

REVIEW: Red Velvet, Tricycle Theatre (2012)

The scene goes back more than 30 years to London where the great Edmund Kean is ill having collapsed onstage and was due to play the role of Othello, the Moor at Covent Garden. Kean's son Charles (Ryan Kiggell) normally plays Iago and is ready to take the title role when Pierre Laporte (Eugene O'Hare), the manager says he has engaged another actor, an American who has had good reviews elsewhere. They are shocked when they discover that Ira Aldridge is a black actor, they had thought dark was an allusion to the style of the play. Set in the context of the debate on the abolition of slavery of 1833 in England and the colonies, Ira's casting prompts a vehement reaction.

Continue Reading REVIEW: Red Velvet, Tricycle Theatre (2012)
REVIEW: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Novello Theatre (2009)
James EarlJones as Big Daddy and Adrian Lester as Brick - Photo: Nobby Clark

REVIEW: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Novello Theatre (2009)

The all Afro-American production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof comes to London with most of the roles re-cast with Black British actors, except for James Earl Jones as Big Daddy and Phylicia Rashad as Big Mama who continue their roles from New York. Sanaa Lathan is the exception, an American, but who didn't take on the role of Maggie in New York. All of the British actors are experienced stage performers and I have the feeling that this can only strengthen the London version of the play.

Continue Reading REVIEW: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Novello Theatre (2009)
REVIEW: The Tragedy of Hamlet with Adrian Lester, Young Vic (2001)
Adrian Lester as Hamlet - Photo: Ivan Lenkic

REVIEW: The Tragedy of Hamlet with Adrian Lester, Young Vic (2001)

Peter Brook directs Adrian Lester in an essential Hamlet Forget Shakespeare. Forget that there ever was such a man. Forget that these plays had an author. . . So just…

Continue Reading REVIEW: The Tragedy of Hamlet with Adrian Lester, Young Vic (2001)