Skip to main content Skip to navigation


Adrian Lester and Lolita Chakrabarti

mentored pupils from two very different
Coventry schools - Sidney Stringer and
Cardinal Newman - in a production of Romeo
and Juliet
. The rehearsal and production
were documented by BBC TV.


You can see highlights here:

In 2012...

Lolita Chakrabarti's play Red Velvet as the African American Shakespearean actor Ira Aldridge opened at the Kilburn Tricycle Theatre. Adrian Lester played Aldridge.

In 2013...

Adrian Lester is playing Othello at the National Theatre, and in July 2013 in Coventry he received an honorary degree from Warwick University.

He told The mastercopy:

"I was never taught anything about Ira, and it is a very personal thing that annoys me, and as an actor it annoys me. The tragedy that I was never taught anything about the positive contributions he made, someone who looks and sounds like myself, on this country is upsetting because you are shown no examples of the height to which you can reach. . . . He played at the Bolshoi Theatre and sold it out with a Shakespeare performance."

...I think the greatest thing that anybody can do is to help eradicate ignorance and lack of empathy wherever you find it. We added something new to the range of the theatrical canon that exists in Britain, and it is my hope that it will stay there.”