Ira Aldridge

Ira Frederick AldridgeAmanda BrandtAmanda Von Brandt
Ira Frederick Aldridge (July 24, 1807 – August 7, 1867) was an American and later British stage actor and playwright who made his career after 1824 largely on the London stage and in Europe, especially in Shakespearean roles.wikipedia
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African Grove

African Grove Theatre
His early exposure to theater included viewing plays from the high balcony of the Park Theatre, New York's leading theater of the time, and seeing productions of Shakespeare's plays at the African Grove Theatre.
It was the first place where Ira Aldridge, who would later become an esteemed and renowned Shakespearian actor, first saw a production of a Shakespeare play.

Henry Highland Garnet

Henry H. GarnetGarnetGarnet*
His classmates at the African free school included Charles L. Reason, George T. Downing, and Henry Highland Garnet.
His classmates at the African Free School included Charles L. Reason, George T. Downing, and Ira Aldridge.

Charles L. Reason

Charles Lewis ReasonCharles ReasonReason, Charles L.
His classmates at the African free school included Charles L. Reason, George T. Downing, and Henry Highland Garnet.
His classmates at the African Free School included Henry Highland Garnet, George T. Downing, and Ira Aldridge.

African Free School

New York African Free SchoolNew-York African Free-School
At the age of 13, Aldridge went to the African Free School in New York City, established by the New York Manumission Society for the children of free black people and slaves.

Othello

Othello, the Moor of VeniceThe Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of VeniceDesdemona
Aldridge performed scenes from Othello that impressed reviewers.
He was first played by a black man on the London stage in 1833 by the most important of the nineteenth-century Othellos, the African American Ira Aldridge who had been forced to leave his home country to make his career.

Amanda Aldridge

Amanda Ira AldridgeAmanda Christina Elizabeth AldridgeMontague Ring
They had four children: Irene Luranah, Ira Frederick and Amanda Aldridge, who all went on to musical careers, the two girls as opera singers.
Amanda Aldridge was born on 10 March 1866 in Upper Norwood, London, the third child of African American Shakespearian actor Ira Frederick Aldridge and his second wife, the Swedish Amanda Brandt.

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester City Art GalleryCity Art GalleryManchester
A half-length portrait of 1826 by James Northcote shows Aldridge dressed for the role of Othello, but in a relatively undramatic portrait pose, is on display at the Manchester Art Gallery (in the Manchester section).
The first object acquired for its collection, James Northcote's A Moor (a portrait of the celebrated black actor Ira Aldridge), was bought in 1827.

Quintus Roscius Gallus

RosciusQuintus Roscius
In addition to being called F. W. Keene Aldridge, he would later be called African Roscius, after the famous Roman actor of the first century BCE.
The African American actor Ira Aldridge, who was born in New York in 1807 and died in Lodz, Poland in 1867, and one of the finest Shakespearean actors of his age, was known as 'The African Roscius'.

Red Velvet (play)

Red VelvetRed Velvet'' (play)
Red Velvet is a 2012 play by Lolita Chakrabarti, dealing with the biography of the 19th century actor Ira Aldridge and his taking the role of Othello.

The Padlock

The same reviewer praised Aldridge's comic talents in the contrasting role of Mungo (in the Bickerstaffe farce The Padlock), describing them as a refreshing corrective to current stereotypical "blackface" representation, "...differing entirely from the Ethiopian absurdities we have been taught to look upon as correct portraitures; his total abandon is very amusing."
Ira Aldridge, an African American actor, played the role of Mungo in a later production of the opera.

Adrian Lester

Adrian Anthony LesterAdrien Lester
In 2012, Lester appeared as Ira Aldridge in the play Red Velvet, written by his wife Lolita Chakrabarti.

Luranah Aldridge

Irene Luranah
They had four children: Irene Luranah, Ira Frederick and Amanda Aldridge, who all went on to musical careers, the two girls as opera singers.
Aldrich was the daughter of actor Ira Aldridge and self-styled Swedish countess Amanda von Brandt.

Upper Norwood

NorwoodNorwood, SurreyUpper Norwood, London
A blue plaque unveiled in 2007 commemorates Aldridge at 5 Hamlet Road in Upper Norwood, London.

Paul Robeson

Paul Leroy RobesonPaulPaul Bustill Robeson
Robeson was the first black actor to play Othello in Britain since Ira Aldridge.

Margaret Gill

Soon after going to England, in 1824 Aldridge married Margaret Gill, an English woman.
Margaret Gill (1797-1864) was born in Yorkshire, England, and was the first wife of African-American actor Ira Frederick Aldridge.

Henry Francis Downing

Downing was inspired by the life of American actor Ira Frederick Aldridge, who developed a career in performing Shakespeare in London and Europe.

Lolita Chakrabarti

Red Velvet, a play about Ira Aldridge, an African-American actor at the centre of controversy in 1833 when he takes over from Edmund Kean in Othello at the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden.

John A. Arneaux

J. A. Arneaux
Especially due to his roles in Othello, he was said to be a follower of African American actor Ira Aldridge, who had become famous worldwide for his performance as Othello from the 1820s through the 1860s and fits in a pantheon of black actors who played that role starting with Aldridge, followed by Arneaux, John Hewlett, and Paul Robeson.

Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois

Anicet BourgeoisAnicet-Bourgeois
The Black Doctor, originally written in French by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois, was adapted by Aldridge for the English stage.
One of his plays was adapted for the English stage as The Black Doctor (1846), a vehicle for Ira Aldridge.

The Captive Slave

*The Captive Slave
The model for the painting is thought to be the American-born actor Ira Aldridge.

William Shakespeare

ShakespeareShakespeareanShakespearian
Ira Frederick Aldridge (July 24, 1807 – August 7, 1867) was an American and later British stage actor and playwright who made his career after 1824 largely on the London stage and in Europe, especially in Shakespearean roles.

African Americans

African AmericanAfrican-Americanblack
Born in New York City, Aldridge is the only actor of African-American descent among the 33 actors of the English stage honoured with bronze plaques at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon.

Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-on-AvonStratford upon AvonStratford
Born in New York City, Aldridge is the only actor of African-American descent among the 33 actors of the English stage honoured with bronze plaques at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon.