The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company has announced that Red Velvet starring Adrian Lester will be the third play in the inaugural Plays at the Garrick season. The production, which originally premiered at the Tricycle Theatre in 2012 before transferring to St Ann’s Warehouse in New York in 2014, will play at the Garrick Theatre from 23 January until 27 February 2016. Red Velvet is written by Lolita Chakrabarti with direction by Indhu Rubasingham.
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?
Lolita Chakrabarti is an award-winning playwright and actress. Red Velvet earned her the Charles Wintour Evening Standard Award and the Critics Circle Award in 2012 after it opened at the Tricycle Theatre. Lolita’s previous stage credits include Last Seen – Joy (Almeida Theatre). Lolita trained as an actress at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and has carved out an innovative, long running career. Her work as an actress for the past twenty five years spans both stage and screen. She has appeared in a string of recent television dramas including J K Rowling’s A Casual Vacancy, My Mad Fat Diary 3, and she can be seen later this year guest starring in the forthcoming Jekyll and Hyde. January will also see Lolita as blacksmith Lila in the epic new ITV drama Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands. Lolita co-founded Lesata Productions with Rosa Maggiora. (www.lesataproductions.co.uk) Together they produced Of Mary, a twenty-minute short film, directed by Adrian Lester. It was selected for numerous international short film festivals and was awarded Best Short Film at PAFF, Los Angeles 2012. Lolita and Rosa were nominated for Best Producers at Underwire, London 2011. She is currently writing a new play, a first feature film and developing original television.
Award winning actor and director Adrian Lester OBE started his career with a string of successful West End productions including Fences, Six Degrees Of Separation, As You Like It and Company before landing the lead role in Mike Nichol’s movie Primary Colors. Other movie credits since include The Day After Tomorrow, Maybe Baby, Born Romantic, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Dust, Final Curtain, Doomsday, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Starting Out in the Evening, As You Like It and Case 39. Adrian is also well known for his TV work including playing ‘Mickey Bricks’ in the long running BBC1 series Hustle, with other TV credits including When Romeo Met Juliet, Merlin, Sleep with Me, Ghost Squad, Being Human, Bonekickers and the US series Red Band Society and Girlfriends. He has appeared on stage as Henry V and Othello at the National Theatre, played Peter Brook’s Hamlet at the Bouffes Du Nord and starred in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in London’s West End. Awards include the Evening Standard Theatre Award 2013 for Best Actor for Othello, the Critics Circle Award 2012 for Best Actor for Red Velvet and an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for Company. After directing his first short film Of Mary in 2011, which premiered at the Raindance Film Festival and was awarded best short at PAFF in Los Angeles in the same year, Adrian directed (Ep2) of the final series of Hustle (BBC1). Adrian has recently completed filming movies Grey Lady and Breakable You. He is currently filming the lead role in Undercover, a new 6 part drama for BBC1 and AMC, due for transmission spring 2016 and will guest star in the forthcoming BBC drama London Spy.
The Winter’s Tale, Harlequinade / All On Her Own, Red Velvet, The Painkiller, Romeo and Juliet and The Entertainer make up the inaugural seven play season of work for the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company.
The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, in partnership with Picturehouse Entertainment, will broadcast three productions of its year-long Plays at the Garrickseason live to cinemas worldwide. The first Branagh Theatre Live production will be The Winter’s Tale at 19:00 on Thursday 26 November 2015.
Broadcast dates for Romeo and Juliet and The Entertainer will be announced on the day of the preceding production’s broadcast. Participating cinemas can be found at branaghtheatrelive.com
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