Beccabooks10. Gouffe sounds amazing. Yes, there are many instances of "man-monkeys", often tagged as such on the site, but also acrobats and gymnasts without a gimmick.. Real monkeys have been used in circuses for a long time - not sure if that continues. Less controversial are the many trained dogs like Carlo and Bruin. I have resisted commenting on the numerous acts which reek of racism today but were generally regarded as just entertainment, but this went on until quite recently. The BBC's Black and White Minstrel Show -mainly Welsh male singers -was hugely popular in the 60s on prime-time TV, continuing the black-face minstrel shows that appear on the playbills from the 19thc. A Jim Crow song was often on the old bills, usually sung by an actor in black-face, no doubt with the cod dialect, like "dem" for "them" etc., and the n word used commonly. There are occasional genuine visiting African-Americans who usually danced, sang slave songs, and were often portrayed as figures of fun, but sometimes acted in serious plays, most famously the American Ira Aldridge the "African Roscius", who played Othello and other leading parts after initially doing the stock slave routines. He settled in Britain and became a British citizen. Really, the theatre reflected society as it was at the time, and that is what is so interesting about the playbills, in all sorts of ways. It is like stepping into another time. The human exhibits were different, often just to be gawped at or prodded, or worse. Many could also be hired for private gatherings, as graphically portrayed in the film Black Venus.