Contemporary Theatres in Europe: A Critical Companion, eds. Joe Kelleher and Nicholas Ridout (London and New York: Routledge, 2006).

Meg Mumford


In their incisive introduction to this richly polyphonous collection of essays, editors Joe Kelleher and Nicholas Ridout describe the authors’ contributions as ‘reports from travellers’ on encounters with European theatres that have ‘provoked, troubled, intrigued or enchanted’ (1). Written predominantly by British-based scholars, curators and practitioners, the essays seek neither to build a comprehensive survey nor a canon of practices. Thanks to the diversity of the authors’ journeys, the collection engages with an excitingly broad range of events, particularly with regard to national and spatial locations, form and content, makers and target audiences. Admittedly, most of the essays focus on recent experimental theatre and performance companies, as well as neighbouring practices, ranging from postdramatic productions, to dance theatre, dance performance, and post-operatic musical theatre.

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