Ira Aldridge, after James Northcote, c.1826 © Private Collection; on loan to the National Portrait Gallery, London

Coming Home Ira Aldridge

Born in New York, Ira Aldridge came to England in 1824 at the age of seventeen. He first performed on the London stage a year later, going on to become the first black actor known to have established a successful career in Europe.  He toured theatres across Britain and Europe, including the Theatre Royal in Bath in January 1832 where he acted in his favourite double bill of Othello and The Padlock.

His portrait, on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, is on display amongst other theatrical portraits including David Garrick.

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