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Patron - Paterson Joseph

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I am delighted to be a patron of this campaigning new website.
We need Off West End theatres in London for the simple reason that we have little chance of seeing brave new work in any other setting. The life blood of theatre and, I would argue, a thoughtful nation is in its new writing. Few commercial theatres have the freedom to try risky ideas in their repertoire. It is vital for all of us, as actors and audience members, to keep in touch with these innovations in theatre as they nourish the whole of our dramatic output.
Biography
As far as my story goes, I decided to try my hand at acting when I got bored of being a chef at 18. I went to the Cockpit Youth Theatre in Marylebone and loved it the minute I stepped in. A couple of years later I went to LAMDA and left in 1988 (so long ago!). My first job was at the wonderful Bush Theatre playing an angry young man in Lucy Gannon's Raping The Gold for which I won a Best Actor award from Charringtons. I then went halfway round the world with Cheek by Jowl and joined the RSC for a couple of years. There were lots of TV appearances in the midst of all this and, after being at the National Theatre in The Recruiting Officer, I headed north. I'll always have a soft spot for The Royal Exchange in Manchester, my home from home, as it refreshed my love for theatre that engages the audience in their everyday lives. In that space I've performed three pieces: Blues for Mr Charlie, a powerful civil rights era play by James Baldwin; Les Blancs, an amazing colonial drama by Lorraine Hansberry for which I won a TMA Best Actor award; and Othello by.....I forget.
A couple of years ago I went back to Harlesden, where I went to school, to see if I could cast and direct a production of Romeo and Juliet from scratch. I went back and did it because I needed to say: the truth is it really doesn't matter where you come from - Shakespeare is a key to unlocking your imagination and, once you've unlocked your imagination, you are free. The Channel 4 production company that were filming the process didn't expect much response but I knew we would be inundated. 360 people turned up for auditions and bringing it all together for one performance was the most exhilarating experience for all of us.
My recent theatre highlights are performing at the wonderful Gate in Notting Hill in Eugene O' Neill's astounding The Emperor Jones and, even more exciting, taking on the role of God and Sun-King Atahualpa, in Peter Shaffer's great play The Royal Hunt of The Sun at the National Theatre.
Happy Theatregoing!
Best Wishes
Paterson Joseph

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OffWestEnd.com is the London UK theatre information and bookings site that makes it easy to find great plays and performances in some of London's innovative theatres outside the West End. Buy tickets directly from these Off West End London theatres - with no fees and no commission ever being charged by us! OffWestEnd.com - Browse our theatre list below for what's on:
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