“A Man of Many Parts”: William Henry Broadhead: His Life and Work

An illustrated talk by Dr. Victoria Garlick; Thursday 27th February 2020

“Quick,Clean, Smart and Bright” was the motto of the theatre circuit developed by William Henry Broadhead and his two sons. This talk will offer an introduction to Broadhead’s life and work. Anomalous amongst contemporary theatre owners because of his background ‘in trade’, he developed a remarkable persona, rising to prominence on Blackpool’s council whilst simultaneously mapping a livelihood in Manchester. Broadhead placed his theatres in liminal areas, home to heavy industry, poverty and pockets of gang violence, rather than in the city centre or newly-developed suburbs. The talk will discuss how his circuit redefined Manchester’s theatre topography through location as well as by design and entertainment so that it ultimately provided a sense of identity to an otherwise marginalised audience. This legacy is still remembered today.

Dr Garlick has a long-standing interest in nineteenth century theatre and music hall and their links to temperance and propriety. Her talk is based on her research for her Manchester University PhD, dealing with Broadhead and his theatre circuit.

Thursday 27th February 2020

7.00 pm for 7.15 pm

Friends’ Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS

Cost: £8; No need to book.