8 October 2023 / News

Paterson Joseph’s Sancho: An Act of Remembrance


In Conversation: Paterson Joseph and Dr. Deirdre Osborne


Celebrate Black History Month with the Society for Theatre Research!

18th October 2023

7.30-8.30pm (BST)


Acclaimed actor, novelist and playwright Paterson Joseph will discuss his play, Sancho: an Act of Remembrance.  Paterson will share his insights on how his acting and writing has brought Ignatius Sancho – an important and irrepressible public figure – back into the public consciousness.

Ignatius Sancho (1729-1780), actor, composer, writer, and slave abolitionist, was said to have been born into slavery on a ship crossing the Atlantic from Africa to the West Indies in 1729.  He worked as a butler to the wealthy Montagu family, and John, 2nd Duke of Montagu, helped his education.  Sancho later ran a grocery shop in Westminster, as well as writing plays, musical compositions and acting.  His letters were posthumously published under the pseudonym Africanus.  Sancho knew many writers and artists of the time, including actor-manager David Garrick and Thomas Gainsborough, who painted his portrait.

This event is free and open to the public. You don’t have to be a member, but it is essential to book to let us know if you will be coming in person or watching via the zoom livestream. Links to the livestream will be emailed to those who have booked and also added to the event before it starts. 

Book on:

The speakers:

Paterson Joseph is an actor, writer and chancellor of Oxford Brookes University.  He trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and later joined the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) where his stage roles included Brutus in Julius Caesar, as well as leading roles at the National Theatre and the Old Vic.  His film work includes The Beach, Aeon Flux, and Wonka, the prequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  His debut novel, The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho, won the Royal Society of Literature (RSL) Christopher Bland Prize.


Dr. Deirdre Osborne, Hon. FRSL, and FRSA, is an Australian-born academic who is Reader in English Literature and Drama at Goldsmith’s College, University of London, where she co-founded and convenes the MA in Black British Writing.   Dr. Osborne’s research embraces the Victorian era through to contemporary culture in fiction, drama, life-writing and poetry to focus upon the marginalised voices of disenfranchised and dispossessed groups within this wide spectrum of genres and periods. A leading figure in decolonial education, her publications include The Cambridge Companion to British Black and Asian Literature (1945–2010), Modern and Contemporary Black British Drama and the ground-breaking This is the Canon: Decolonize Your Bookshelf in 50 Books.