Adrian Lester, Katy Sullivan, Emily Barber and Jack Hunter will make their Hampstead Theatre debuts in the UK premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning Martyna Majok’s Cost of Living at the Hampstead Theatre – making it the 100th premiere since Edward Hall and Greg Ripley-Duggan took charge in 2010.
This play based on the true life story of actor Ira Aldridge by Lolita Chakrabarti has the ability to grab your attention and evoke so many feelings that you feel totally wrung out by the end. Now I appreciate that this may not be everyone’s idea of a thrilling evening of entertainment, but for many such as myself this piece is exactly what we need in the West End right now.
This was my third visit to Lolita Chakrabarti’s play, starring her husband the matchless Adrian Lester. I liked it from the start, as everyone else did; was please to be one of those who voted both Chakrabarti and Lester their awards at the Critics’ Circle a couple of years ago. I called it “sharp and entertaining”, and was delighted by the tribute to a largely forgotten theatre hero: Ira Aldridge, a black American actor who in the 1830’s, even before slavery was banned, replaced the ailing Edmund Kean as Othello at the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden.
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