Roll up! Roll up! An Ashton Circus film is in the works


Ben Fletcher as James Henry Ashton.

by Matthew Eeles

A new film chronicling the rich history of the Ashton Circus and its founder, James Henry Ashton, is in the works.

Ashton’s – set in the early 1800’s – will follow the great success of the Ashton Circus family amidst the hardship of the Gold Mining era.

Founded by James Henry Ashton in the early 1800s, Ashton Circus has travelled all over Australia, bringing joy to many rural communities and big cities for over 160 years. It’s even said that Ned Kelly enjoyed Ashton’s shows on a number of occasions and even enjoyed tea with the performers.

“I approached the Ashton’s over four years ago to get their permission to produce the film,” says Ashton’s producer and director Leonie Kelly.

“The family approved the script before we started production and they are really excited and supportive of everything we’re doing.”

The film stars Ben Fletcher as James Henry Ashton and Katie Tullia as Elizabeth Critchley Ashton.

Kelly says she has complete control over the film, but is always open to any suggestions from the Ashton family.

Ashton’s is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to complete production of the film. Details on the crowdfunding campaign can be found here.

3 thoughts on “Roll up! Roll up! An Ashton Circus film is in the works

  1. Very excited to hear about this. My great great grandfather Joseph Myers (sometimes spelt Miers) was an acrobat with the circus from the 1850s to the 1890s.

  2. James Henry Ashton is my 3rd great grandfather. This will be such a beautiful way to learn more about my family history.

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