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Image of Desirée Baptiste
Fisher Studios / Fisher

New play 'Incidents in the Life of an Anglican Slave' comes to College

Written and performed by London-based writer and researcher, Desirée Baptiste, this play comes to the College, following previous performances at Lambeth Palace Library, the Edinburgh Fringe, All Souls, Oxford, and other venues in the UK and overseas, including at the Walcott Warner Theatre in Barbados.

Incidents (2023) is inspired by a letter written in 1723 from an anonymous enslaved Virginian to the archbishop of London, asking the archbishop, and vicariously King George, to “releese us out of this cruell bondegg”, and is thought to be the earliest written plea for freedom from slavery in the British Empire. 

The is housed at Lambeth Palace Library. Three centuries on, the play brings the enslaved Virginian to life, to address, finally, the likely intended recipient of the letter: the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Baptiste describes Incidents as both a ‘fictional slave narrative and ghost story’ that 'explores, among other themes: slave literacy, slave laws, resistance, and, of course, religion'.

The performance will take place on Wednesday 21 February at 6pm in the Chapel and will be followed by a Q&A with Desirée Baptiste.

See the events listing for more.