The Wonders: Lifting the Curtain on the Victorian Freak Show

Tuesday 14 June 1:00pm Talks
Free event, ticket required

Venue: Third Stage - Theatre Royal

Important Information

This event will take place in the Theatre Royal Dress Circle foyer. Bar opens from 12.15pm, performance begins at 1pm.
Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult aged 18+

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Historian and author Dr John Woolf explores the history of the Victorian sideshow entertainment, through the stories of the ‘freak performers’ who graced the boards of this popular form of entertainment.

Think Hugh Jackman’s ‘The Greatest Showman’ but without the whitewashing, Dr Woolf reconfigures our understanding of the Victorian Age and the actual performers themselves to deliver a talk that traverses the Atlantic, bringing you a series of shocking, triumphant and tragic stories about these incredible entertainers.

Having read history at the University of Cambridge, Dr John Woolf is a historian and researcher. He has recently co-written the bestselling and award-winning audiobook Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets and his first non-fiction book The Wonders: Lifting the Curtain on the Freak Show, Circus and Victorian Age.

John has developed the BBC4 series The Real Tom Thumb: History’s Smallest Superstar, has featured on the BBC4 documentary Dwarfs in Art and was Assistant Producer for Queen Victoria’s Letters: A Monarch Unveiled.

Access to the Theatre Royal Dress Circle foyer will be open from 12.15pm, and the bar will be open for refreshments, before the performance at 1pm.

Yarn Bar is also open every day from 11.30am for coffee, brunch and lunch.