When the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season was announced last year, we were so overwhelmed by the casting – Judi Dench! Lily James! Rob Brydon! – and the line-up of downright thrilling productions that we failed to notice a handy five-week hole missing in its otherwise jam packed year-long schedule. But the Tricycle Theatre, for one, definitely hadn’t.
A few months later and the reason for the gap was revealed, the West London theatre’s hugely successful Red Velvet was coming back to London for its premiere West End run following five star runs at the Tricycle and New York’s prestigious St Ann’s Warehouse. And the really, really good news? Adrian Lester would be back to reprise his role as Ira Aldridge, the black American actor around which Lolita Chakrabarti’s fascinating play revolves.
We caught up with Red Velvet’s director Indhu Rubasingham to find out exactly how the show ended up joining Branagh’s company’s inaugural season, why you should never underestimate the power of a conversation over a glass of wine and what it is about the play that has made it such theatrical gold.
You can book tickets to see Red Velvet, which begins previews on 23 January at the Garrick Theatre, through us here or, for performances until 12 February, you can book through our annual new year ticket promotion Get Into London Theatre.