Illustration of Sadler’s Wells Theatre

The image shown here depicts the theatre in the early 19th century, at a time when the theatrical business was booming. In the 1780s German tourist Sophie Van La Roche described a visit to Sadler’s Wells in colourful detail. Over an astonishing three-hour performance she witnessed nine different acts , including ballet, comedy, a pantomime, rope-walking and even a strong man, while the audience around her partook of drinks, pasties and sandwiches while noisily enjoying the performance.

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