Red Velvet return for Tricycle season

Published July 1, 2013

Lolita Chakrabarti’s Olivier Award nominated play Red Velvet will return to the Tricycle theatre as part of its forthcoming new season, with Adrian Lester reprising his role as Ira Aldridge.

The season will also include the world premiere of Handbagged, Moira Buffini’s play about the relationship between Margaret Thatcher and the Queen, the UK premiere of actor and playwright Colman Domingo’s A Boy And His Soul and Kathy Burke’s production of Once A Catholic.

Kicking off the season from 4 September (press night 9 September) to 21 September is A Boy And His Soul, which transfers to the Kilburn venue following an acclaimed run in New York. Directed by Titas Halder, whose recent directing credits include The Dance Of Death for the final Donmar Trafalgar season, the play is a coming of age tale set in 70s and 80s Philadelphia that is propelled by the beat of classic soul, smooth R&B and disco.

From 26 September (press night 1 October) to 9 November, Marion Bailey and Stella Gonet will star in Handbagged, a tale based on the critically acclaimed short play from 2010’s Women, Power & Politics, which will be directed by the Tricycle theatre’s Artistic Director Indhu Rubasingham.

Bailey, who returns to the Tricycle theatre following performances in The Arab Israeli Cookbook and Dance Of Death, will follow in the Olivier Award-winning footsteps of Helen Mirren to star as Elizabeth II. The actress’ theatre credits elsewhere include Grief at the National Theatre, Incomplete And Random Acts Of Kindness and This Is A Chair at the Royal Court, and Cloud Nine at the Old Vic.

She is joined by Gonet, who plays the late former Prime Minister in a production that promises to “open the clasp on the antipathy between two giants of the 20th century.” Last seen on the London stage in Before The Party at the Almeida, Gonet, who has experience performing in plays about powerful political women having appeared in the Tricycle’s Women, Power And Politic season, is well-known for her on screen roles in The House Of Eliott and Holby City. Her credits on stage include Top Girls at the Trafalgar Studios, Skylight, Racing Demon and Hamlet at the National Theatre, and Memory Of Water at the Vaudeville.

Burke’s revival of award-winning playwright Mary J O’Malley’s Once A Catholic will play at the venue from 21 November (press night 27 November) to 18 January. Set in a convent girls’ school in 1950s Willesden, the comedy tells the story of a group of classmates about to take their final exams. The day of reckoning is nigh, but their last year in uniform leads to a discovery of a less holy kind.

Best known for her comedy roles in Harry Enfield film Kevin And Perry Go Large and hit BBC sitcom Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Burke’s credits as a director include The Quare Fellow at the Tricycle, and Out In The Open and Born Bad at the Hampstead theatre.

Completing the season is Rubasingham’s acclaimed production of Red Velvet, which plays at the venue from 23 January to 8 March prior to its New York transfer. Starring Olivier Award winner Lester, Chakrabarti’s award-winning play is based on the true story of a black American actor who steps into the role of Othello when, in 1833, Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his generation, collapses on stage.

Original cast members Natasha Gordon, Charlotte Lucas and Eugene O’Hare will join Lester in the production, which first played at the venue in October last year.

While Artistic Director Rubasingham was “thrilled” to announce the four forthcoming productions, she was also excited about the off stage aspects of the new season, saying “It’s not only the developments on stage that make this season special, for the first time in the Tricycle’s history we are introducing allocated seating throughout the auditorium, enabling us to offer a lower ticket price of just £8.

“We are also revitalising our Creative Learning Programme, by taking more workshops into school to reach out to children without access to theatre, re-launching our Young Company, and in March next year we will throw open our building to them for Tricycle Takeover enabling them to stage brand new works across our spaces. Not only will they programme the building, but we will help them to be in control of all aspects of the productions, from marketing to stage management, directing to publicity, in this way putting young people at the heart of the organisation.”