National Black Theatre and Classical Theatre of Harlem present RSC actor Paterson Joseph's solo play about Charles “Sancho” Ignatius—composer, social satirist, general man of refinement. More…
He was born on a slave ship but never a slave, was immortalized by the great English painter Thomas Gainsborough, and in 1774 became the first British-African to cast a vote. 'Sancho' examines this curious, daringly determined life and seeks to cast new light on the often misunderstood narratives of African-British experience.
"A joy to experience. Joseph's Sancho is overflowing with charisma, and sometimes it's hard to tell if it's Joseph or Sancho who has the audience wrapped around one finger. Joseph writes and plays him with such vivacity...Wonderfully written and masterfully acted. A reminder of the power of theater to teach us of the incredible people who came before us, left out of our textbooks, but still with stories that make us laugh and cry. A show that you just won't want to miss." Full Review
for a previous production "Paterson Joseph is as charming as his subject, and is also the author of this nuanced portrait of a black man who rose from slavery in the heart of London...It’s remarkable how Joseph nearly plays two characters: the younger, brasher, and older, wiser Sancho, and how he is equally convincing and magnetic as each...For Americans, the story is a reminder of the importance of the right to vote, and the dignity intrinsic in exercising it." Full Review
for a previous production "Joseph’s true goal...was casting a little light on the history of free blacks in the West. In this he succeeds winningly, bringing a kind of humble audacity to role of Sancho while keeping the tone buoyant, never didactic. It’s a lovingly and masterfully crafted performance...The captivating quality of the performance and the inherently interesting story made me want more of it – more story...'Sancho' is less a deep portrait than a tantalizing glimpse of the life and times of its subject." Full Review
for a previous production "It is, first and foremost, a captivating story expertly told by Joseph...He talks to the audience as to an interested stranger, all flashing smiles and half-mocking boasts. But shining through this winning exterior is a grit and an emotional depth that comes to the fore...It is testament to Joseph’s versatility that he manages to cram a host of idiosyncratic supporting characters...'Sancho' is undoubtedly more than an entertaining tale...The piece has an undoubted contemporary relevance." Full Review
for a previous production "Joseph’s energetic portrayal, as directed by Simon Godwin, rejects the comforts Sancho enjoyed as a darling of high society...What shines forth in 'Sancho: An Act of Remembrance' is not just a fascinating, often overlooked historical character, but Paterson Joseph’s commitment to reveal and celebrate the forgotten Brits of African descent." Full Review
for a previous production "The play bears the marks of Mr. Joseph’s research, and he has clearly absorbed the style of Sancho’s writing, though he takes care to make it playable...What’s here is much more episodic than dramatic...The few moments of action feel contrived...Yet if the monologue Mr. Joseph has written isn’t quite the costume drama he intended, he has created a detailed portrait of a man who was an interested witness to the events of his day and who helped to shape them." Full Review
See it if You are intrigued by Black British history and the first Briton of African Heritage to vote. You know and love the excellent Paterson Joseph
Don't see it if You aren't interested in black history, one-man shows, or interactive talkbacks.
See it if you welcome being educated about history through clever and profound writing, in a spirited performance by a masterful, enchanting actor.
Don't see it if you have problems with heavily accented dialog, have entrenched ideas about uncomfortable aspects of history, or dislike solo performances.
See it if You want to see a classically trained British actor telling an important and little-known story about the son of slaves-turned-gentleman.
Don't see it if You shy away from the painful truth of slavery and/or do not like period dramas. 18th C setting.
See it if masterful acting & writing by a craftsman. draws you in to his imagination where a simple white scarf can be an ocean or a sash of royalty.
Don't see it if you voted for Trump
See it if you are interested in the contrast of slavery in England and the United States and you're interested in the history of servitude.
Don't see it if You have a short attention span and would be frustrated by long monologues, especially ones spoken in 'ole' English and with a strong accent
See it if You delight in one-man virtuoso performances, are interested in relevant theater, you've never been to National Black Theater, enjoy passion
Don't see it if Not interested in relevant plays that require you to think, respond and empathize; don't want to understand racism and how to fight it
See it if You enjoy storytelling based in history, learning about the African-British experience, seeing a very well researched production.
Don't see it if Are not interested in history, need a large fancy production, have difficulty with accent
See it if You enjoy British history and one-man shows. You want to learn about people your textbooks ignored.
Don't see it if You need dramatic action. You dislike period dramas or stripped down staging.
See it if you'd like to see an RSC actor bring a little-known but relevant historical character to life; if you're interested in racial justice.
Don't see it if you dislike historical plays or one-man shows.
See it if vExtraordinary play about an Enlishman who goes far beyond the boundaries of the average black person during this era.His story was indeed r
Don't see it if if you don't like one person shows about a person of color and their experience.
See it if you love well written one man shows about someone you know nothing about. Great experience in a special NYC theater. My first visit.
Don't see it if you are looking for a mindless big Broadway show. The theater is a historicHarlem venue. It is easy to get to by bus and subway.
See it if You enjoy one man shows dealing with British themed monologue-type comedies and you want to try a nice venue in, it’s quiet uptown, Harlem
Don't see it if You hate one man shows, have a short attention span, require an elaborate set,have a limited imagination or don’t want to travel to Harlem
See it if African history with a British accent, delightful Paterson Joseph in solo turn, audience participation, post show talk back intrigue you
Don't see it if solo shows, black history, British accents, lisps, going to Harlem, would keep you away
Get alerts about your favorite artists and theater companies