Red Velvet Feb.20th, ’14

london west end

I know, I know – it’s already done (but certainly not dusted). But I just had to see it again. And I admit: it was – if that was possible – even better than the first time around. Same cast, same stage, but apparently different views on if it’s easier or harder the second time: I had asked Adrian Lester if it’s harder or not to perform the same play a second time and his answer was: much easier. less rehearsal times. When I asked Eugene O’Hare (he played the impresario) though, he revealed: much harder, less rehearsal time!

Again the performances of the castmembers were incredibly captivating, the chilling underlying notion of the ever present racism a stark reminder of how it is till this day and age and the full circle of Edmund Kean and Ira Aldridge both dying on stage a very fitting, beautiful arc – even though Aldridge never found the recognition Kean got in London, in his last moments he was equal to the man who both started and ended Ira’s career in those two performances of Othello in the West End…

Fun addendum: When O’Hare asks “Ira” to proceed “gentler” for their audience is “older” he seemed to look directly at me – I had a 3rd row seat in the middle. So when Adrian Lester finally came out to sign for me, I mock scolded him for his colleague’s words. And with a totally straight face, the giggle barely hidden in his eyes, Mr Lester stated: that was althogether out of line of him.

so yes, it was a great play at a cute venue (their coffee saved my life and the red velvet truffles are a dream) and I even got a taxi for the drive back to the West End.

I’d go and see it a third time in a heartbeat. Too bad I can’t afford to go to NY for its broadway run!

 

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