Beginning in 1850, the ships involved in the search for survivors of the Franklin expedition were equipped with printing presses. Their prime purpose was to print "balloon papers" giving their location and direction, to scatter as they went in hopes of one being found by members of the Franklin expedition. However, the presses were also used to produce playbills, announcements, and newspapers.
Captain Sir Edward Belcher's expedition with the H.M.S. Resolute was sent to bring relief to Sir Robert MacClure, who was in search of Franklin's Arctic expedition. The Resolute wintered at Dealy Islet in 1852-53 and the crew entertained themselves by putting on performances such as those listed in this theatre playbill.