I simply could not put this book down until I had finished the last page. Erudite, witty and humorous, it is a history as expertly penned and exciting as only the very best of novels. Professer Robbins traces the evolution of pantomime from roots that extend as far as the clowns of ancient China, through the bloody excesses of Rome, the pageants of medieval Europe, the theatrical 'glory' days of Elizabethan England, the Restoration and Victorian extravaganzas to the present day. If you want to find out what happened when four drunken stage hands started fighting inside a pantomime elephant, why clowns wear white make-up or the origin of the stories that so many pantomimes are based on, this is the book for you. An absolute must for all lovers of the theatre, drama students and everyone interested in entertainment. An addition to my library that I will never tire of and want to return to time and again.