ouble column playbill announcing programme of events at Astleys

ouble column playbill announcing programme of events at Astleys
3 0 c m
40cm
actual image size: 29cm x 22cm

Full image caption

Double column playbill announcing programme of events at Astleys Royal Amphitheatre, July 1853. Includes performances of 'Battle of Waterloo', 'The Chase' and 'Aylesbury Leap'.

Astley's was south of the Thames, and had established a reputation for its spectacular equestrian melodramas. By the time this playbill was made in 1853 Astley's circus was run by William Cooke, the head of an equestrian family. Cooke's family performed at the circus, where Emily, John Henry, and Henry Welby Cooke all had celebrated equestrian acts. This playbill describes Emily Cooke's act of 'flying' through sixteen balloons. This does not refer to balloons as we know them today. At the time paper hoops were known as balloons.

© Museum of London

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