‘JULIUS CAESAR & ME’: new book by acclaimed Black British actor Paterson Joseph – in conversation with Geoffrey Colman

Thursday 31st May 2018, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM @ Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP


For one night only, Paterson Joseph will be in conversation with Geoffrey Colman, Head of Acting at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, about Paterson’s eloquent, arresting new book, ‘Julius Caesar and Me‘, which explores Julius Caesar as Shakespeare’s “African” play, Paterson’s own role as Brutus in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2012 production of the play, the positioning of ethnic minority actors in Shakespeare productions in general, and the key collaborations that have inspired his eclectic and outstanding career to date.


  • 6:00 PM – Arrival and drinks
  • 6:45 PM – Paterson Joseph in conversation with Goeffrey Colman, followed by a Q&A
  • 7:45 PM – Book signing with Paterson
  • 8:00 PM – Ends

Paterson Joseph is a British actor who has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, among other institutions and also worked extensively in television and in film. He trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

His theatre credits include Brutus (Julius Caesar), Marquis de la Mota (Don Juan), Dumaine (Love’s Labour’s Lost), Oswald (King Lear) and Haaken (The Pretenders) for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Brutus Jones (The Emperor Jones), Cauchon (Saint Joan), Deli (Elmina’s Kitchen) and Worthy (The Recruiting Officer) for the National Theatre; Othello for the Royal Exchange, Manchester, Torvald (A Doll’s House) for Shared Experience, Horatio (Hamlet) for the Almeida, Solomon (Solomon and the Big Cat) for the Young Vic and Hotspur (Henry IV Parts I and II) for English Touring Theatre.

Joseph’s television appearances include roles in Law and Order, Case Histories, The Fixer, Survivors, Green Wing, Soldier Soldier and Casualty. He has performed in several radio plays for BBC Radio 4, and appeared in films including The Other Man, The Beach and Aeon Flux. In 2015, he wrote and performed his one-man play Sancho: An Act of Remembrance on tour.

This event is hosted by the Bloomsbury Institute, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing.

Tickets available from: Eventbrite

Follower Paterson on Twitter

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In 2012, actor Paterson Joseph played the role of Brutus in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s acclaimed production of Julius Caesar – Gregory Doran’s last play before becoming Artistic Director for the RSC. It is a play, Joseph is quick to acknowledge, that is widely misunderstood – even dreaded – when it comes to study and performance.

Alongside offering fascinating insights into Julius Caesar and Shakespeare’s writing, Joseph serves up details of the rehearsal process; his key collaborations during an eclectic career; as well as his experience of working with a majority black cast. He considers the positioning of ethnic minority actors in Shakespeare productions in general, and female actors tackling so seemingly masculine a play in particular. Audience reactions are also investigated by Joseph, citing numerous conversations he has had with psychologists, counsellors and neurologists on the subject of what happens between performer and spectator.

For Paterson Joseph, his experience of playing Brutus in Julius Caesar with the RSC was a defining point in his career, and a transformative experience. For any actor or practitioner working on Shakespeare – or for any reader interested in his plays – this is a fascinating and informative read, which unlocks so much about making and understanding theatre from the inside.

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Julius Caesar is, simply, Shakespeare’s African play‘ John Kani

A fascinating inside look at the evolution of a play, as it brings an entirely new perspective to something we thought we knew. As it moves through readings, productions, and locations, the play shifts and changes, as do the relationships of the performers. By the end of Joseph’s book, we forget that the African setting and interpretation can be anything other than the way Shakespeare originally imagined it.” – Gretchen Gerzina, author and Dean of Commonwealth Honors College, University of Massachusetts, USA

This is a lively, eloquent and exceptionally well-written and well-informed book.” – Russell Jackson, University of Birmingham, Department of Drama and Theatre Arts

I found the proposed book to be very compelling and engaging, and I think it could appeal to a wide range of readers: RSC fans, drama students, and Shakespeareans. I really appreciated how honest and revealing PJ’s thoughts were about the complicated process of staging the RSC’s African Julius Caesar. He truly provides an insider’s view, and I was especially pleased that he addressed the issue of casting and race in frank and complex terms.” – Ayanna Thompson, George Washington University

Having played Brutus myself in an all-female production set in a female prison, I was fascinated to read Paterson’s analysis and anecdotes about the rehearsal and the building of a character in such a different context from the one I worked in. He tells a great story. His own journey in the RSC and the places to which that led him make this book unique and an inspiration for aspiring black actors everywhere.” – Dame Harriet Walter, stage and screen actress