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Adrian Lester stars in Rubasingham's first Tricycle season

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Indhu Rubasingham has announced her inaugural season as artistic director of The Tricycle Theatre.

Rubasingham, who succeeded Nicolas Kent at the Kilburn venue last month, said she is seeking to “view the world through different lenses” and bring “unheard voices” into the mainstream.

Her tenure opens on 16 October 2012 (previews from 11 October) with a new play from Lolita Chakrabarti titled Red Velvet, which Rubasingham will direct.

The play stars Chakrabarti’s husband Adrian Lester as Ira Aldridge, the African-American actor who caused a storm in 1833 when he took over from Edmund Keen in Othello at the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden.

Chakrabarti’s previous writing credits include Last Seen – Joy for the Almeida, while as an actress she recently appeared in The Tricycle’s The Great Game: Afghanistan season and Free Outgoing at the Royal Court.

Adrian Lester returns to the stage for the first time since appearing in the award-winning all-black revival of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at the Novello Theatre. Other theatre credits include Hamlet for Peter Brook at the Bouffes du Nord/Young Vic; Sweeney Todd at the National Theatre and Company at the Donmar Warehouse (for which he won an Olivier Award for Best Actor). He will be playing the title role in Othello at the National Theatre in 2013.

First festive family show

Red Velvet, which runs until 24 November, is followed by a new version of The Arabian Nights written by Mary Zimmerman.

Opening on 6 December (previews from 30 November) and continuing to 12 January, it will be the Tricycle’s first family festive show and is directed by Inspector Sands associate artist Lu Kemp, whose recent credits include the Fringe First-winning If That’s All There Is in 2009.

Next up is the transfer of the Eclipse Theatre/Sheffield Theatres production of Don EvansOne Monkey Don’t Stop No Show, which premiered in Sheffield last year. Running at the Tricycle from 16 January to 9 February 2013 and directed by Dawn Walton, it’s billed as “The Cosby Show meets Restoration Comedy” and centres on a middle-class black family living in the 1970’s Philadelphia suburbs.

Rounding off the season is the world premiere of Philip Himberg’s Paper Dolls. Directed by Rubasingham, it’s adapted from the award-winning documentary film by Tomer Heymann about a group of Filipino immigrants working as live-in carers for elderly Orthodox Jewish men in Tel Aviv. Six days a week, they provide dedicated support to their employers. But on the seventh day, they transform into a homespun, sassy musical drag act.

Announcing her first season of programming, Indhu Rubasingham said: “In programming The Tricycle, I am seeking to view the world through different lenses, where unheard voices are brought into the mainstream. I believe it's these global, contemporary stories, and the connections they make to each of us that keep theatre immediate and pertinent.”

She also announced that Nic Wass will join the Tricycle as artistic associate (literary), having recently left the Royal Court after five years as a senior reader and also having been literary manager at Out of Joint.


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