Ira Aldridge as Zanga
ZPER 34/12, Illustrated London News, 1 April 1848,
p. 218

     Mr Ira Aldridge, the African tragedian, made his first appearance at the Surrey Theatre on Monday evening, 20th ult., as Zanga, in the "Revenge." Our illustration represents the last scene of the tragedy, wherein he is trampling on the prostrate Don Alonzo. His reception throughout the performance was flattering; and, as the play progressed, the applause became enthusiastic. Mr. Aldridge possesses an excellent voice, commanding figure, and expressive countenance; to which he adds the advantages of education and study. His dress, which is novel and picturesque, reminds one of the portraits of Abd-el Kader. Throughout the play he more than realised the high encomiums that had previously been passed upon him; and many who ridiculed the idea of a native-born African successfully representing a dramatic character, retired with very different feelings. Nor is his talent confined to tragedy. His representation of Mungo, in "The Padlock," is a laughable performance, differing entirely from the Ethiopian absurdities we have been taught to look upon as correct portraitures; his total abandon is very amusing. He re-appeared on the 27th, as Othello, with great success.
[artist's signature] Baugniet

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