SHOWS AND EXHIBITIONS
MARIONETTES, puppet-shows and waxworks were extremely popular. New exhibitions of this character were constantly being imported. Posture-makers, tumblers, acrobats, conjurers and rope-walkers not unfrequently appeared with these shows. Occasionally, the "artists" of the latter class, as they called themselves, considered themselves of sufficient importance to perform alone. In 1734, for instance, "is to be seen the famous German artist who is to perform the wonders of the world by dexterity of hand. The things he performs are too numerous to be enumerated here." We gain a good idea of these curious shows from the managers' own accounts, in 1747 and 1749:
"To be seen at the house of Mr. Hamilton Hewetson at the Sign of the Spread Eagle, near White-Hall Slip, Punch's Opera, Bateman or the Unhappy Marriage, with a fine Dialogue between Punch and his wife Joan. Acted by a set of lively figures from Philadelphia. Also a most curious Posture-Maker Boy, late from Dublin, who performs with the utmost Dexterity, most surprising Postures, transforming himself into a great number of various Shapes, together with a great Variety of Tumbling, exceeding pleasant and diverting; and many other curiosities too tedious to mention."
"To be seen at a large theatrical room next to the Sign of the Dolphin (built on purpose) near the workhouse, for the entertainment of gentlemen, ladies and others to-morrow even-