Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Complete ‘Extant’ Series w/Halle Berry Coming Out On Blu-Ray DVD in Dec. The Complete ‘Extant’ Series w/Halle Berry Coming Out On Blu-Ray DVD in Dec. 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) Weekend B.O. Sept. 12-14 (Will 'No Good Deed's' Success Help Make Taraji P. Henson an A-lister?) Weekend B.O. Sept. 12-14 (Will 'No Good Deed's' Success Help Make Taraji P. Henson an A-lister?) Producer Charles Belk and Actress Daniele Watts Apparently "Fit the Description" (Just Another Day in the Neighborhood) Producer Charles Belk and Actress Daniele Watts Apparently "Fit the Description" (Just Another Day in the Neighborhood) TIFF 2014 Review: 'Top Five' is Chris Rock's Funniest Movie in Years - If Not Ever TIFF 2014 Review: 'Top Five' is Chris Rock's Funniest Movie in Years - If Not Ever What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? Taraji P. Henson Executive Produces Indie ‘Seasons of Love’ (Appears Alongside Gladys Knight, LeToya Luckett) Taraji P. Henson Executive Produces Indie ‘Seasons of Love’ (Appears Alongside Gladys Knight, LeToya Luckett) TV: New Corrections Officer for 'Orange, Another ABC Drama for Shonda Rhimes, SNL's 1st Black 'Weekend Update' Anchor TV: New Corrections Officer for 'Orange, Another ABC Drama for Shonda Rhimes, SNL's 1st Black 'Weekend Update' Anchor 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now It's a Done Deal - Paramount Pictures Will Distribute Chris Rock's 'Top Five' Worldwide It's a Done Deal - Paramount Pictures Will Distribute Chris Rock's 'Top Five' Worldwide Black Kids from Ferguson Speak Out in 'Hey White People' Comedic Video Educating Whites on Racism Black Kids from Ferguson Speak Out in 'Hey White People' Comedic Video Educating Whites on Racism 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Adrian Lester Playing Legendary Actor Ira Aldridge On The London Stage

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act October 18, 2012 at 3:20PM

Today must be what's-going-on-on-the-London-stage day on S & A. With my news earlier that Chiwetel Ejiofor will be playing Patrice Lumumba next year at the Young Vic, comes word that Adrian Lester is currently playing the legendary and ground breaking black actor Ira Aldridge in the new play Red Velvet.
1
Adrian Lester

Today must be what's-going-on-on-the-London-stage day on S & A. With my news earlier that Chiwetel Ejiofor will be playing Patrice Lumumba next year at the Young Vic, comes word that Adrian Lester is currently playing the legendary and ground breaking black actor Ira Aldridge in the new play Red Velvet.

The play, which opened on Oct 11, and is currently running though Sat. Nov 24 at the Tricycle Thetare in London, was written by Lolita Chakrabarti. It's fair to say that Ms. Charkrabarti wrote the play with Lester in mind, since she also happens to be his wife.

The play revolves around an actual incident invloving Aldridge in 1833 when Edmund Kean, who was the considred the greatest British actor of his day, was taken ill and Aldridge was asked to take his place in a performance of Otello. With the blistering debate over abolishing slavery going on in England at the time, how would people "react to the revolution taking place on stage?"

Aldridge himself was a fascinating person and worthy of a film about his life. He was born a free man in New York in 1805, the grandson of a Senegalese Fula tribal chief. 

He started his career in acting in the 1820's, but left the U.S. not too long afterwards because of discrimination, and eventually became, across the U.K., Ireland and Europe, one of the most famous and acclaimed actors of his day, performing mainly Shakespearan roles, including King Lear, Shylock from The Merchant of Venice along with Otello.

He eventually became a British ciitizen, got married a few times along the way, had several children and traveled and performed throughout Europe, even living in Russia for several years.

He died in Lodz, Poland in 1867 while on tour, and was buried there.

To order tickets for the play go HERE.

A trailer with Lester and others discussing  the play follows:

h/t to Candace Allen


Shadow & ActNewsletter