Oxford Brookes Chancellor Paterson Joseph to kick off Think Human Festival

Paterson Joseph

Acclaimed actor, author and Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, Paterson Joseph, will be performing a new show as part of the University’s free Think Human festival.

Sancho & Me will be performed at the Old Fire Station in Oxford on 4 April and 5 April by Paterson Joseph, alongside Ben Park, a composer, performer and educator who has written, produced and performed extensively for film, television, dance and theatre.

The performance is built around Paterson's critically-acclaimed debut novel, The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho, based on the true story of the 18th-century writer and composer who became the first known person of African descent to vote in a British parliamentary election.

The show is a partly improvised performance, delivered directly to the audience and explores ideas of belonging, language, education, slavery, commerce, violence, threat, politics, music and love – and where these themes intersect with Paterson’s own story of being Black and British.

Paterson Joseph has worked extensively on screen, television and in the theatre and recently starred in Wonka, alongside Timothée Chalemet and Hugh Grant. He also starred in the recent six part mini series, Boat Story, for the BBC.

Composer Ben Park’s credits include the multi award-winning 70 Hill Lane with Improbable Theatre, and the triple BAFTA winning, Oscar Nominated S4C production of The Canterbury Tales.

Paterson said: “'With the current climate in public discourse we need conversation. Sancho & Me is just that. I'm immensely grateful to Oxford Brookes University and The Old Fire Station Theatre for this opportunity.”

Oxford Brookes University's Think Human Festival will see a range of events taking place across Oxford, offering the chance to discuss and reflect on the importance of understanding ourselves as human beings, our relationships with others and the challenges we face as part of a changing society in a complex world. The main festival runs from 16 to 20 April at venues across Oxford.

Highlights include:

  • From Hostility to Dignity - 16 April, 6pm, Oxford Town Hall Assembly Rooms. A discussion challenging the UK’s immigration policy and the environment it creates for migrants and refugees.
  • Three Remarkable Women - 17 April, 6pm - John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre, Oxford Brookes University. An open lecture celebrating three remarkable political thinkers of the 20th century: Hannah Arendt, Iris Murdoch and Simone Weil. Actress Annette Badland will read extracts from their works. 
  • The Lost Paths - 18 April, 4.45pm - John Henry Brookes Building reception, Oxford Brookes University. A guided walk around Headington followed by a conversation with Jack Cornish, author and Head of Paths at The Ramblers, looking at the long history of pathmaking, and struggles over access.
  • Changing Hearts and Minds with Music - 19 April, 5pm  - The Forum, John Henry Brookes Building, Oxford Brookes University. An evening of live music and discussion, including a performance from legendary folk artist Martin Carthy.
  • Ghostly Encounters - 20 April, 6pm - Old Fire Station, George Street, Oxford. An interactive event with exhibits, talks and readings, exploring the role of ghost stories, real and fictional.

All events are free. For more information and to book visit the Think Human webpages.