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Pablo Fanque’s Fantastic Fair: For The Benefit Of Pablo

A culmination of workshops with young people exploring Black British History with multidisciplinary artist Jade Williams. Supported by Oldham Coliseum Micro Commissions 2021


Multidisciplinary artist Jade Williams worked with young people aged from 9-30 in schools and organisations across Manchester to explore Black British history, with a focus on Pablo Fanque, born in 1810.

Pablo was a Black British circus owner, who toured his circus all over England, Scotland and Ireland. He specifically toured in the North of England and Greater Manchester. Pablo was known to host benefit nights with the proceeds going to members of the community in need, for instance – the famous Fair in Rochdale, February 1843 was for the benefit of Mr Kite who had fallen on hard times. The flyer for this event also inspired the popular Beatles song Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!

Jade’s tour of schools and organisations was a way to reignite Pablo’s Fair across Manchester and inspire pupils to create their own circus in Pablo’s honour. The focus is on being as creative as possible using the art forms of dance, music, drama, craft and more, allowing young people to express themselves and improve their well-being and confidence.


Pablo Fanque’s Fantastic Fair: For The Benefit of Pablo



Act 1. Medlock’s Marvellous Masterpiece


Act 2. Chatsworth’s Happy Circus


Act 3. Pablo’s Cool Circus, Redwood School


Act 4. Funky Monkey Donkey Land Circus, Holy Name


Act 5. Circus of The Greats, Pathways


The Pablo Fanque’s Fantastic Fair: For The Benefit of Pablo culmination event took over the Coliseum’s Social Media channels on Tuesday 18 May 2021


All Oldham Coliseum Micro Commissions 2021 are free to access. If you would like to help the Coliseum to support more great artists to create work please consider making a donation to the theatre.



Supported by Oldham Coliseum Theatre Micro Commissions 2021

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