‘ICED by Ray Shell, a staged reading at ICTheatre Brighton

1 June, 2022

Ray Shell, actor, producer, director and publisher, whose prolific career has spanned decades in which he has starred in major shows and been behind pioneering enterprises, came to ICTheatre to work with a group of our students on an exciting project.

In 1993 Ray’s novel Iced was published to commercial success. It tells the story of an upper middle class Black American man destroying himself with crack cocaine. A challenging and moving text that lays bare the soul of addiction and the social ills surrounding it.

Ray had just sold the film rights and was looking to do an R&D on his own adaptation for theatre with actors from a drama school. And he chose us! 

 A group of students drawn from both the acting and musical theatre pathways at ICTheatre worked intensively for a week under Ray’s nurturing but also challenging direction.

They were pushed to go beyond what they thought they were capable of, asked to be brave, to be precise, to explore without censorship, to give themselves over entirely to this incredibly powerful story.

The week culminated in a sharing of the work, and everyone watching was left deeply affected and moved by the event. The actors themselves knew what they had just been part of; the significance of it, and what they had achieved.

The atmosphere in the theatre had changed, had become charged with something other, something that took us way beyond ourselves. We are so lucky that Ray came and gave his time, skill and also love to the project. No one involved will ever forget it. 

© 2022 ICTheatre
Institute for Contemporary Theatre