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The Circus of Varieties, Park Row, Bristol

Later - The Coliseum Picture Theatre

Bristol Index

A Google StreetView Image of the former Circus of Varieities, Bristol - Click to Interact.

Above - A Google StreetView Image of the former Circus of Varieities, Bristol - Click to Interact.

A Poster for Arthur Lloyd and Katty King at the Circus of Varieties, Bristol in May 1887 - Click to EnlargeThe Circus of Varieties was situated on Park Row in Bristol and, as far as I have been able to ascertain, the building was put to a number of uses over the years including a Roller Skating Rink, an exhibition hall, and a Cinema called the Coliseum Picture Theatre, which opened in 1912 and closed in 1924. During WW1 the building was even in use as an aircraft factory.

The building was situated opposite the former Prince's Theatre which was destroyed during WW2 on the 24th of November 1940. The Coliseum building was itself mostly destroyed at the same time but its facade remains to this day, behind which is now the Bristol University School of Engineering.

Arthur Lloyd and his wife Katty King are known to have performed at the Circus of Varieties on the 30th of May 1887, see poster right, and review below.

Right - A Poster for Arthur Lloyd and Katty King at the Circus of Varieties, Bristol on the 30th of May 1887 - Click to Enlarge.

An Advertisement for Arthur Lloyd and Katty King at the Circus of Varieties, Bristol on the 30th of May 1887The Bristol Mercury reported on the event shown in the poster shown right, in their 31st of May 1887 edition saying:- 'Circus of Varieties - Last night this house proved a popular place of resort, the attendance being very large. The lessee, Mr Sam Watson, has engaged a number of well-known artistes, and the programme is an excellent one. Mr Alfred C. Vance, the well-known comedian, has been re-engaged for another week; and the applause which greeted his re-apppearance testified that Mr Vance is still a "Great favourite with Bristolians. Mr Arthur Lloyd and Miss Katty King sing and dance well, and Mr Oscar Dubourg and Little Jim go through a number of remarkable feats in a large tank of water. Mr Pat Carney and Mr Barney Ryan soon gained the warm appreciation of the audience with their Irish songs. Mr Torn Wootwell, known as the "loose-legged comedian," executed some very clever eccentric dances; and Mr Alvantee's ascents and descents on the silver cord are of such a character as to please those who are fond of sensationalism. Miss Vinney Bishop and Miss Marie Britton, serio-comic vocalists, sing in a pleasing manner, and aid in the success which attends the entertainment.'

The above review and small advertisement were first published in the Bristol Mercury, 31st May 1887 and was kindly sent in by Denis Downes whose wife's Great Grandmother was Vinney Bishop who appeared in the entertainment that evening. Vinnie Bishop was also the mother of early 1900s boxer Willie Farrell.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

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