Poster advertising entertainment at the Canterbury Theatre of Varieties
Printer: Wilkes & Co.
The Royal Canterbury, or Canterbury Hall as it was first called, was opened in 1851 by Charles Morton on the site of an old skittle alley adjacent to his Canterbury Tavern. The Hall was immediately popular and was reconstructed twice, firstly in 1854 to form the much larger New Canterbury Music Hall and secondly in 1876 to create a three-tier theatre with entrance hall, promenade and lounge.
Many well known artistes performed at the Canterbury Music Hall. Among them, and featured here, was Marie Loftus. Born in Glasgow and billed as the "Hibernian Hebe" during her early career, she was to become a most versatile performer. Described on this poster as "the charming serio-comic and burlesque actress", Marie Loftus also specialised in songs with a moral overtone, such as 'To Err Is Human, To Forgive Is Divine', and frequently appeared as 'principal boy' in pantomime.