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Audacious Mr. Astley (Edinburgh Preview)

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Audacious Mr. Astley (Edinburgh Preview)


With his wife (and bee-wrangler) as co-performer, war hero and trick-rider Phillip Astley roped off a ring in an open field in Lambeth, London, and on Easter Monday in 1768 wowed crowds with astounding displays of equestrian expertise. Building on this early success, the couple added a clown, rope-walkers and acrobats to their presentation, and the circus was born.

Writer and actor Chris Barltrop has toured the world as a circus ringmaster for over 40 years, appearing in two Royal Variety Performances and spending seven years on tour with the legendary Moscow State Circus. Sharing Astley’s story as the ‘father of the modern circus’, this one-man play draws on the writer’s own experiences in the ring and his insider knowledge of circuses and the people who run them.

Premiered on the 250th anniversary of the first circus, on the very spot where that event took place, Barltrop’s play has toured the UK to much acclaim, including a coveted five-star rating at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and invited back there this summer.

“Fascinating…engaging” ★★★★★ BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE

“Entertaining, informative, classy!” Liz Arratoon / THE WIDOW STANTON

“Brings the circus story to enthralling larger-than-life” Dea Birkett – CIRCUS250

Suitable for ages 8yrs+

Ticket prices vary



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Map Quarry Theatre at St Luke's, 26 St Peter's Street, MK40 2NN Bedford, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, Bedford, United Kingdom
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