7 October 2022 The Scotsman

It is a landmark case in Scottish legal history. In 1778, Joseph Knight persuaded the courts he should be free to leave the employment of John Wedderburn. The obstacle was that Wedderburn had bought Knight as a slave in Jamaica and believed he had the right to hold him in perpetual servitude.

Knight lost his initial case in Perth, but based his successful appeal on the argument that Scots law did not support slavery. Whatever the law in Jamaica, he could not legally be enslaved here. The appeal judges agreed.

You would expect a play on this subject to be celebratory. In the era of Black Lives Matter, isn’t it exactly the kind of feelgood story we need? It even has a happy ending. [READ MORE]

By Mark Fisher

MARK FISHER is a freelance theatre critic and feature writer based in Edinburgh and has written about theatre in Scotland since the late-1980s. He is a theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List magazine and a frequent contributor to the Scotsman and other publications. He is the co-editor of the play anthology Made in Scotland (1995), and the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (2012) and How to Write About Theatre (2015) – all Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He is also the editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls and What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book (both Mark Fisher Ltd).