Adrian Lester Wins Best Actor at UK’s Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards

Posted on January 15, 2013 /Awards, UK

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Adrian Lester  has won the best actor award at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards for his role as pioneering African-American actor Ira Aldridge in Red Velvet. Lester is the first black actor to recieve the honor.

The winners were announced earlier today at an informal ceremony at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. Each member of the Drama Section independently casts his or her vote based on personal choice, free of any discussion or industry influence, ensuring a highly democratic voting process. No list of nominees were published.

Lester said he had been fascinated by the “great story” of Ira Aldridge – a young, black American actor who caused a sensation at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden in 1833 when he took over the role of Othello after famous actor Edmund Kean collapsed on stage. He is currently appearing in the West End in Privates on Parade at the Noel Coward Theatre, and preparing for the leading role of Othello in National Theatre’s 50th anniversary production.

Lester, perhaps best known as con man Mickey Stone in BBC’s The Hustle, was recently named Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year’s Honours list.

The Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards award excellence for theatre throughout the UK and are selected by a group of professional theatre critics.

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