Uncle Tacko reveals all about the flea circus

Monday 23rd May 2022 9:30 am
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Uncle Tacko will be giving a talk on his flea circus as part of the Teign Heritage Centre - home to Teignmouth & Shaldon Museum - Platinum Jubilee celebrations on May 31. Picture: Teign Heritage Centre (May 2022)

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Summertime entertainer Dr Tony Lidington, known as ‘Uncle Tacko’ to his audiences, has performed Punch and Judy and other acts on Teignmouth seafront and at other resorts for many years.

In his academic work, he is a national authority on British popular entertainment and a part-time lecturer on the drama course at the University of Exeter.

As part of Teign Heritage’s Jubilee and 1950s celebrations, Dr Lidington will be giving an illustrated talk about the history of seaside entertainment on stage at the old Riviera Cinema in Teignmouth on Tuesday, May 31 at 3pm.

He will describe the variety of entertainments that holidaymakers could enjoy at seaside resorts over the years, in particular at Teignmouth. Well-known entertainers Alberto and Babs used to perform music and magic tricks on the Den in the 50s, and older people in Teignmouth will remember enjoying their act when they were children.

The talk will be free for all members of the public. This will be an opportunity for people to revisit the auditorium of the cinema which in the 50s was such a popular venue.

Dr Lidington will return to Teignmouth on Thursday, June 2, on the Den when he will present his flea circus – an intriguing family fun act which will delight children. Performances will be at 2pm and 4pm at the Teign Heritage tent.

During May and June, a Coronation exhibition will be on display at the Teign Heritage Centre, where visitors can find out what was happening in Teignmouth and Shaldon during 1953 Coronation week.

In the summer, the museum will have an exhibition about seaside entertainment here throughout the 1950s, which will cover films at the Riviera, dances at the Den Pavilion and the Pier Ballroom.

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