In The Greatest Showman, Barnum (over the course of a song), tries to get Phillip Carlyle to join him.

But what did he want from Carlyle exactly? What would Carlyle bring to the table that he was so desperate to have him join in?

I know that Barnum wanted to move up in life and move up from his "freak show" owner tag. But how does Carlyle help in this regard?

1 Answer 1


Phillip Carlyle was "high society", while Barnum and his circus (up to this point) are an oddity that only appeals to the common folk and the butt of criticism from the critic, Bennet. Barnum is hoping that Carlyle can help him appeal to the upper class (including the father of his wife, Charity, who disapproves of Barnum), and open new doors for him.

This works out spectacularly, as Carlyle is able to arrange an audience with the queen of England, which directly leads to Barnum and Jenny Lind's introduction and show together. You will recall that Charity's family show up to the celebration after the show, and Bennet gives Jenny's performance a highly favorable review (which leads to them going on tour).

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