Genesis Cinema #LoveTheatreDay

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Between 1848 – 1989 the building on the site of Genesis Cinema in Whitechapel has been a pub, Music Hall, theatre and Cinema.

From 1848 until 1884 it was Lusby’s Music Hall, a celebrated venue that hosted some of the best Music Hall acts of the day, including Madame Sanyeah, one of – if not the – first female aerial acrobat.
Her performance was described in the Era magazine, 8 April 1877: 

“Another very attractive and effective portion of the entertainment here is found in the marvellous aerial gymnastic performance of Madame Sanyeah. This lady’s strength of nerve and jaw is amazing, and, like her handsome figure and graceful feats, excites boundless admiration”

It may seem like an odd compliment but the strong jaw comment probably relates to her act, aerial performers used to grip onto a piece of leather with their teeth and then be twirled around at a great height, so a strong jaw came in handy!

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A Poster for ‘The Musical Paviors’ at Lusby’s Summer and Winter Palace, Mile End Road in December 1883 – Courtesy Philip Mernick and ArthurLloyd.co.uk

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