Paterson Joseph brings his one man show Sancho: An Act Of Remembrance to Wilton’s Music Hall for its London Premiere this June.
This remarkable show, which recently won critical acclaim on an international tour, is based on the unknown story of Charles Ignatius Sancho, an English gentleman, socialite, composer, writer, abolitionist and first Afro-Briton to vote in Britain.
Sancho was conceived, written and performed by Paterson Joseph after years of wanting to star in a period drama but finding that the only stories about black Britons before the 20th century were limited to tales of slavery.
Then he was fascinated to discover the story of Sancho and his incredible, unique life.
Born on a slave ship in 1729, and educated in London in secret, Sancho spent his early life working as a butler for aristocratic families in South London where he immersed himself in music, poetry, reading and writing.
He went on to own a greengrocers in Westminster, mixing with notable actors, writers and musicians, before becoming the first British-African to vote.
He was immortalized by the English painter, Thomas Gainsborough, becoming a fierce voice in the abolitionism movement and a symbol of the immorality of the slave trade.
In a largely white society, Sancho’s life was not just unusual but completely unprecedented, and it was for this reason that Joseph decided to bring his story to life on stage.
This revealing and funny one-man show casts a light on the widely unknown and often-misunderstood narratives of the African-Britain experience.
Joseph takes audiences through Sancho’s early years in 18th Century London and explores his ascent into middle class society.
Co-directed by Simon Godwin (associate director, National Theatre), this is a true exploration of the curious, daringly determined and intelligent man who played a remarkable yet relatively unknown role in the history of Britain.
Paterson Joseph said: “Charles Ignatius’ dream was to travel to America, we achieved that for him.
“I’m even more excited to bring the most forgotten man in British history to his, and my, hometown at the beautiful Wilton’s Music Hall.”
Sancho: An Act Of Remembrance plays at Wilton’s Music Hall from June 4 – June 16.
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