The Star: Jumbo the elephant lives again on the Blyth Festival stage

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From The Star’s theatre critic Karen Fricker.

He was, in the words of David Suzuki, “the world’s first animal superstar.”

Jumbo was an African elephant who was exhibited in the Paris and London zoos and controversially bought in 1882 by the American circus entrepreneur P.T. Barnum.

Jumbo’s story is tied to Southwestern Ontario for tragic reasons: he was struck and killed by a railway train after an 1885 performance in St. Thomas and is now closely associated with that city — a statue erected in 1985 to commemorate the centenary of his death draws many visitors.

Read the full story here.


Jumbo, written by Sean Dixon, opens the Blyth Festival’s 45th Season on June 14 and runs until Aug. 10. Pictured are: Tony Munch as Matthew Scott and Lucy Meanwell as Annie Jones. Creative team includes: Manon Beaudoin, circus master; Gil Garratt, director; Eric Bunnell, set and costume designer; Leigh Ann Vardy, lighting designer; Deanna H. Choi, sound designer and composer; and Gemma James-Smith, puppet designer and constructor. Stage management by Heather Thompson and Katerina Sokyrko. Photo by Terry Manzo