Kenneth Branagh is to transfer the highly acclaimed drama Red Velvet as part of his season of Plays at the Garrick.

The production was a great success at The Tricycle theatre in 2012 and in Brooklyn but had struggled to find someone willing to transfer the show to the West End; fortunately Branagh who had seen the Tricycle production was looking for a play to run for five weeks as part of his inaugural season.

Adrian Lester will reprise the role of Ira Aldridge the pioneering African-American Shakespearean actor who was asked to step in to play Othello at the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden when famous actor Edmund Kean fell ill.

Indhu Rubasingham who directed the play said ‘Ira was white-washed out of history, and we struggled to put him back front and centre. The play’s come at a perfect time, people are discussing diversity in culture and in everyday life — and here it is on stage, for real.’

The play, written by Lolita Chakrabarti will be directed by Indhu Rubasingham.

Red Velvet will run from 23 January 2016 until 27 February 2016 at the Garrick theatre.

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