Read more about the article 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.

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