Reader in Visual Culture, Marius Kwint recently attended the 250th anniversary of Philip and Patty Astley’s opening of their riding displays in the field called Halfpenny Hatch, later Roupell Street, near the present Waterloo Station.
This is widely taken as the foundation of the modern circus, and was used by Marius as the subject of his doctoral thesis many years ago.
The event was brilliantly organised by ringmaster, historian and actor Chris Barltrop and David Alpin, Chair of Lambeth Estate Residents’ Association, with the participation of the Khadikov Riders, currently at Zippo’s Circus on Blackheath, and Flying Fantastic aerial gym, London.
Marius did an interview with Tommy Boyd on Talk Radio, which can be found here, in the 13:30 – 14:00 time slot, scroll to 14 minutes into this time slot to hear Marius.
You can also find an interview with Chris Barltrop, who played the role of Philip Astley in the event, here.