Once relegated to the status of theatre’s ‘poor cousin’, circus now attracts serious academic attention. Several commendable works have been published in recent years. Not least is this fine little volume, The Cambridge Companion to Circus, published this year by Cambridge University Press. Edited by Gillian Arrighi and Jim Davis, the volume comprises 17 succinct, well-crafted essays that open our eyes to the transnational character of the modern circus, the aesthetics of circus acts, the perpetually evolutionary nature of circus and future directions for scholarship. The essays have been contributed by an international range of well-credentialled circus historians, theorists and practitioners. The volume is thoroughly indexed, annotated and includes an extensive bibliography. The Penny Gaff is pleased to recommend The Cambridge Companion to Circus. Five stars!

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