Lolita Chakrabarti

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Plays by Lolita Chakrabarti

Red Velvet

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Based on the little-known, but true, story of Ira Aldridge, Red Velvet tells of the young black American actor's professional struggle in the face of widespread prejudice in London society.

The play is set at Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, 1833, where Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his generation, has just 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 received its world premiere at the Tricycle Theatre, London, on 11 October 2012, starring Adrian Lester as Ira Aldridge. It was revived at the Tricycle Theatre on 23 January 2014, before transferring to St Ann's Warehouse, New York, on 25 March 2014.

Winner of the 2012 Most Promising Playwright Evening Standard award, Lolita Chakrabarti is a British actress and writer who has worked extensively on stage and screen. Her most recent acting theatre credits include The Great Game, Afghanistan for The Tricycle, Last Seen - Joy for the Almeida, Free Outgoing for the Royal Court and John Gabriel Borkman for the Donmar Warehouse. Her acting screen credits include The Casual Vacancy, Jekyll and Hyde, My Mad Fat Diary season 3, Vera,Outnumbered, Hustle, Extras Christmas Special, Holby City, Silent Witness, Amnesia, William and Mary, Fortysomething, Bodies, and Forgiven. Writing credits include The Goddess for Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4, Faith, Hope and Blue Charity, also on BBC Radio 4 and Last Seen - Joy for Slung Low and the Almeida. In 2012, Red Velvet was the first play performed under the Tricycle's new artistic director Indhu Rubasingham. It returned to the Tricycle in 2014 before having its US premiere at St Ann's Warehouse New York. Lolita Chakrabarti also runs Lesata Productions with Rosa Maggiora. Their short film won Best Short Narrative at PAFF, Los Angeles 2012. They are currently in development with their first feature. www.lesataproductions.co.uk