As the first book I read on this subject it was a superbly compact historical index of the ideas informing modern theatre from Stanislavsky to the present day. It provides a chronological account of the development of ideas, theories, movements and schools of thought that is so concise as to help the newcomer to relate them with ease. At the same time it places every figure in their cultural context. I have found it an invaluable reference and springboard for discovering other areas of more detailed reading on the most significant personalities in the development of theatre. For anyone already familiar with this history it may lack the depth of larger books, but it still has value as a quick reference and is at the same time briskly paced and absorbing. It is not pretentious, verbose or patronising, but is informative and throught-provoking.