Sancho: An Act of Remembrance

Monday 21 May 2018

Off-West End - Shows

Wilton's Music Hall is to host the London premiere of Sancho: An Act Of Remembrance, acclaimed actor Paterson Joseph's one-man play that tells the extraordinary story of Charles Ignatius Sancho.
Sancho: An Act of Remembrance at Wilton's Music Hall

Image: Wilton's Music Hall

Following an international tour, Wilton's Music Hall will host the London premiere of Sancho: An Act Of Remembrance from 4 to 16 June 2018.

The play tells the extraordinary story of Charles Ignatius Sancho, English gentleman, socialite, composer, writer, abolitionist and first Afro-Briton to vote in Britain.

Sancho was conceived and written, and is also performed by Paterson Joseph (NT's Emperor Jones, RSC's Julius Caesar, Peep Show and Green Wing).

After years of wanting to star in a period drama but finding that the only stories about black Britons before the 20th century were that of slavery and therefore limited roles for black actors, Mr Joseph was fascinated to discover the story of Sancho and his unique and incredible life.

Charles Ignatius Sancho was born on a slave ship in 1729 and educated in London in secret, and 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 - offering merchandise such as tobacco, sugar and tea at 19 Charles Street in London's Mayfair - mixing with notable actors, writers and musicians, before becoming the first British-African to vote in a British election.

He was immortalized by the great English painter Thomas Gainsborough and became 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 Paterson 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; Mr Joseph cleverly 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 plays 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."


Born on a slave ship, educated in secret, Ignatius Sancho became a composer, actor, anti-slavery campaigner, and the first Afro-Briton to vote in a British general election.

Sancho's story casts new light on the often misunderstood narratives of the African-British experience.


Paterson Joseph


Author: Paterson Joseph
Composer: Charles Ignatius Sancho, Ben Park
Director: Paterson Joseph and Simon Godwin
Set designer: Michael Vale
Costume designer: Linda Haysman
Lighting: Lucretia Briceno
Sound: Ben Park
Production: Pemberley Productions and Oxford Playhouse


Wilton's Music Hall
1 Graces Alley (off Ensign Street)
E1 8JB


From: Monday 4 June 2018

Closed: Saturday 16 June 2018


Standard: £12.50 - £25


Show website
ActDrop full listing for Sancho: An Act of Remembrance

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