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Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, 1833. Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his generation, has collapsed on stage whilst playing Othello. A young black American actor has been asked to take over the role. But as the public riot in the streets over the abolition of slavery, how will the cast, critics and audience react to the revolution taking place in the theatre? Red Velvet takes us back to the most pivotal moment in Ira Aldridge’s storied career. This seering drama by Lolita Chakrabarti (Olivier Award winning playwright of Life of Pi) will leave you at the edge of your seat.


This play explores race, racism, and the concept of Black exceptionalism.

Generously sponsored by Helen & Alan Harnsberger, and Diane Ditmer.