Reviews round-up: Red Velvet at the Garrick Theatre

A reviews round-up for Red Velvet at the Garrick Theatre.

Adrien Lester reprises his award winning performance in Lolita Chakrabarti’s play Red Velvet.  Putting in a ‘performance of eloquent intensity — noble and detailed but with fire at its core’ Lester impressed the critics with his revisiting of Ira Aldridge – the pioneering black actor.

An informative, entertaining, thought-provoking and beautifully played piece, Lolita Chakrabarti’s play about racial prejudice is as current today as it was on the stage of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1883. Red Velvet is a must see.

Red Velvet runs until 27 February 2016 at the Garrick Theatre.


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Average rating score for this production


‘Highly recommended - In lesser hands, this tale could have been a tub-thumping pseudo-tragedy but, smartly paced and attractively presented by Indhu Rubasingham, it’s informative, entertaining, thought-provoking and beautifully played. A highly recommended foray into a murky, neglected chapter of our theatrical and national history. Believe the hype.’

‘Lester’s magnificent acting makes you nostalgic for a vanished gestural style in this welcome revival of Lolita Chakrabarti’s play about racial prejudice.’

‘Adrian Lester has been a coolly authoritative Othello, as well as a memorably physical Hamlet and the star of numerous TV shows — including seven of the eight series of Hustle. But he’s never been better than as Ira Aldridge, the black American actor pelted with abuse when he appeared as Othello at Covent Garden in 1833. It is a performance of eloquent intensity — noble and detailed but with fire at its core. Chakrabarti has crafted a rich psychological study that’s also a shrewd portrait of the theatre as an institution — its vanities and strange conventions, its politics and sense of community, the opportunities it presents for both progress and blinkered traditionalism.’

‘Adrian Lester reprises his award-winning performance, bringing an intriguing chapter of theatre history to life.’

Date: 1 February 2016
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