Programme for the Canterbury Theatre of Varieties, Monday 25 March 1889
Printer: Stevens, G.
Medium: Print on paper
The popular Canterbury Theatre of Varieties was the first of the great music halls. Opened in 1851 and reconstructed in 1876, the building featured a three-tier theatre, entrance hall, promenade and lounge - all of which are illustrated on the cover of this programme from 1889.
The entertainment that evening followed the typical pattern, including a variety of acts. There might sometimes be more than 20 acts in a single evening. Well known names, such as Bessie Bellwood (1847-1896), famous for her cockney humour and rousing songs, and Jenny Hill (1851-1896), known for her energetic style of singing and dancing, might be listed alongside such novelties as the seven electric frogs direct from Paris. It is interesting to see how the theatre generated extra income by printing paid advertisements - though not all the available space was sold on this particular programme.