The man who invented circuses is reincarnated on stage on Saturday, May 25 in Bromyard.

Local actor and circus ringmaster Chris Barltrop is coming to the town's Conquest Theatre to perform his own play telling how circuses began. Meticulously-researched, carefully costumed, and backed by specially recorded contemporary music, Audacious Mr Astley won high praise at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe, gaining five-star reviews and the rare accolade of an invitation to return for the 2019 Fringe.

Sergeant-Major Phillip Astley, 'late of His Majesty's Royal Regiment of Light Dragoons', was a hero of the Seven Years War. On leaving the army, he and his wife performed on an open field in London as trick-riders. Meeting instant success, they added acrobats, rope-walkers and a clown - and circus entertainment was launched!

As well as precise historical detail, Chris Barltrop has used his insider knowledge of circuses and their proprietors to create the rumbustious character of cavalryman Astley.

To book for Audacious Mr Astley on Saturday, May 25 at 7.30pm, call the box office on 01885 488575 or visit

Ticket price includes a donation to Midlands Air Ambulance.