From Waterloo to the World: 250 Years of Circus

Celebrate 250 years since the world’s first circus

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, South Kensington

  • Tickets cost £20.00 - £50.00

Past Event

Join curators, historians and circus practitioners to mark the 250 year anniversary of the world’s first circus, created by Philip Astley. In April 1768, Astley opened a riding school in Lambeth. The 26-year-old was a former sergeant major in the British cavalry, and his trick riding displays led to the foundation of a new type of entertainment that spread across the globe. Explore Astley’s legacy, the ongoing popularity and influence of circus, and its place in the future through conversations, screenings, performances and demonstrations.