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Red Velvet

Author(s): Lolita Chakrabarti

Red Velvet

When celebrated actor Edmund Kean takes ill, Theatre Royal Covent Garden’s 1833 run of Othello is at risk of closing. Flustered, but loving the drama, the impassioned acting company hastily reallocates roles—but the producer has a radical idea.

Enter ground-breaking African American actor Ira Aldridge. His craft is revolutionary and his movements a far cry from the company’s more ‘traditional’ style—so, when he passionately grabs his Desdemona on stage, it’s not just his technique that the company and London critics take issue with.

Lolita Chakrabarti explores the far-reaching social repercussions of Aldridge’s infamous performance, a seminal moment in theatrical and social history. Directed by the Royal Exchange Theatre’s Joint Artistic Director Roy Alexander Weise.

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