Hollywood-based actor, Ian Ruskin, brings story of Thomas Paine back to Thetford
A Hollywood-based actor is returning to Thetford, three years since his last visit, to tell the story of the town's most famous son.
Ian Ruskin, a British RADA trained actor who has had a number of film and TV roles and lives in Los Angeles, is bringing his ‘To Begin the World Over Again: the Life of Thomas Paine’ one-man show to The Carnegie in Cage Lane, tomorrow, at 7.30pm.
The performance, which also came to the town in 2019, is part of Ian’s British Isles tour telling the story of Thomas Paine, the writer who help shape the American and French Revolutions and was born in the town, on January 29, 1737.
Stuart Wright, secretary of the town’s Thomas Paine Society, said: “We had a dinner with Ian last night at The Thomas Paine Hotel and he also did a performance for the pupils of Thetford Grammar School in Thomas Paine’s old school room that day as well.
“It is great that he has included Thetford as part of his new tour, he really takes his role as Thomas Paine very seriously and we are lucky to have him here.”
The actor is also part of The Thomas Paine Memorial Association in America, which has successfully lobbied for a statue of the writer to be erected in Washington DC – in December last year, president Joe Biden signed a congressional bill to endorse a monument there, dedicated to the life and work of the world-famous Thetfordian.
Thomas Paine’s influence on revolutions started In 1776, when he met Benjamin Franklin in London and emigrated to America, where he published his most famous pamphlet, Common Sense, which advocated American independence and was an important influence on events that shaped the country.
He later returned to Europe and wrote Rights of Man, which defended the French Revolution. His views led him to be sent to prison and after his release, he produced his last essay, The Age of Reason, which critiqued religion and Christian theology.
Thomas Paine died in New York City, on June 8, 1809.
For more information or tickets to Ian Ruskin’s ‘To Begin the World Over Again: the Life of Thomas Paine’ show, go to The Carnegie Thetford website.