A poster for the East London New theatre;1820
4 0 c m
actual image size: 20cm x 32cm

A poster for the East London New theatre;1820


© Museum of London

Full image caption

A poster for the East London New Theatre, Wellclose Square. It is advertising the play "Mountaineers" and the ballet "Love in an Orchard" on Wednesday 26th January 1820.
In the 19th century theatres competed to attract audiences, vying with each other to offer evermore extravagant and spectacular entertainments. Technical developments in the printing industry brought new typefaces which venues seized upon to create bold and eye-catching bills. The promised attractions were described in great detail and often illustrated with wood-block engravings.

Plays set in the British colonies of the West Indies were popular. This playbill for the East London New Theatre advertises the programme for Wednesday 26 January 1820. It includes the "grand serious pantomime Obi, or Three-Finger'd Jack" which is set in Jamaica and tells the story of a man who escaped from slavery.




1820 AD - 1820 AD

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