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Polish city pays tribute to 19th century actor Ira Aldridge

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 08.08.2017 17:28
A series of events commemorating the first black Shakespearean actor, Ira Aldridge, has been held in Łódź, central Poland.
Ira Aldridge. Photo: Public domain, Wikimedia Commons
Ira Aldridge. Photo: Public domain, Wikimedia Commons

They marked the 150th anniversary of the actor’s sudden death in the city on 7 August 1867.

The events included a lecture on Aldridge’s artistic achievements and a recitation of a poem in tribute to Aldridge by the Polish poet Julian Tuwim as well as a wreath-laying ceremony at the actor’s grave at the city’s Evangelical Cemetery.

The deputy mayor of Łódź, Krzysztof Piątkowski, said that 150 years ago the city had the honour to be included on the itinerary of Aldridge, an outstanding actor and a star of European theatre.

He recalled that the actor’s funeral was attended by tens of thousands of people, including the city’s then mayor.

Aldridge was born in New York in 1807 and worked as an actor in America until the 1820s, when he emigrated to England after being brutally beaten in racist attacks.

He rose to fame in the UK, managing to break down racial barriers, playing principal roles, including Romeo, Hamlet, Othello and King Lear. (mk/pk)

tags: theatre
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