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Philip Astley’s first modern circus

Philip Astley’s first modern circus

Philip Astley’s first modern circus


Originally shared by Ed Pearce

Former cavalry officer Philip Astley staged the first modern circus on April 4, 1768 with shows of acrobatic riding skills in an open field in the Waterloo area of London.

This format was so successful that Astley added a clown to his shows to amuse the spectators between equestrian sequences, and later moved to fenced premises just south of Westminster Bridge, where he expanded the content of his show with acrobats, jugglers and dancing dogs.

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