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Nautch on the Shore

Indian variety performance and traveling performers in Blackpool.

This talk explores the relationship of empire, migration, and performance cultures in inter-war Britain. It uses ephemera and images from the Showtown History Centre collections, along with records of the colonial exhibitions and newspaper articles from the period. It follows the journey of a company of 50 variety performers - dancers, acrobats, snake-charmers, conjurors, and artisans – who toured Britain as an Indian village.

The talk explores how Indian identity was being physically represented in the variety acts, and how institutions, communities and individuals from the Indian subcontinent were seen in Britain at the time.

Dr Debanjali Biswas is the Showtown TaPRA fellow. The fellowship is a funded research project aiming to reveal the histories and presence of individuals from the global majority in Blackpool’s entertainment, both past and present.

Booking details coming soon.

Event times

Thursday 16th May 2024, 5.30pm - 6.30pm


Adult - £7

Concession - (senior aged 65+, student with ID) - £5

Sir Ken Dodd Learning Space


(Entrance) Corner of Adelaide Street West and Bank Hey Street