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Britain's Black Past$
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Gretchen H. Gerzina

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621600

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621600.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 24 January 2022

Staging Sancho

Staging Sancho

(p.197) Chapter Eleven Staging Sancho
Britain's Black Past

Paterson Joseph

Liverpool University Press

In this chapter Paterson Joseph describes the genesis and evolution of Sancho—An Act of Remembrance, a play he wrote and performed about the life of Charles Ignatius Sancho. Sancho fulfilled the author’s desire to perform in a costume drama and bring awareness to black contributions to Britain. Developed as a monologue, the play conveys the extraordinariness of Sancho who was a musician, writer, actor, valet to the duke of Montagu, grocer, and was the first Afro-Briton to vote in a parliamentary election. Joseph recounts some of the challenges of bringing the play to the stage as well as the contributions of musicians, producers, choreographers, costumers, and lighting and set designers. He describes the audience reaction to the play revealed in post-show question and answer sessions which helped him see modern parallels with the political disenfranchisement of blacks in the US. Joseph positions Sancho as not only bringing awareness to the life of one remarkable black man, but helping break the monotone view of British historical drama and expanding our understanding of black lives of the past.

Keywords:   Charles Ignatius Sancho, voting, historical drama, play, Sancho—An Act of Remembrance

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