BOOK REVIEW: Aerialist by Rebecca Truman

In Books, Cabaret, Circus, Opinion, Reviews by Katharine KavanaghLeave a Comment

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Rebecca Truman’s book. Part confession, part auto-narration, not unlike Nell Stroud’s Josser, it gives a very personal insight into our aerial profession – the glittery stardom as well as the gritty pain, anguish, fear and isolation that often cycle through an aerialist’s life.

At times I wanted more detail on a topic raised, and occasionally felt elements linked somewhat randomly, but it also follows very familiar historical circus autobiographies in its approach. It is both nostalgic and contemporary.

For those of you ‘in the business’, you’ll find the recognisable with the surprising; for those who have seen Skinning the Cat over the years, you’ll find great insight into how the works of an incredibly creative mind came into being – and at what cost; for those who are curious about life on the road, the circus, contemporary performing arts, there’s plenty to entertain and engender wonder too.

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Katharine Kavanagh
Katharine is a circus writer based in the Midlands, a handy travel hub for getting out and about to new and smaller-scale work. From a background as a performer, theatre-maker and circus volunteer, Katharine took part in the EU-funded 'Unpack the Arts' circus residency, set up The Circus Diaries website, and now dedicates herself to sharing the intricacies of circus art with the world.

She says: "Circus is an area of performing arts where few people have the vocabulary and understanding to write balanced critical appraisal. This tends to result in wishy-washy 'reviews' that all sound the same and say very little about the relative quality of the show.

"As the circus arts grow in popularity and engagement across the UK, it's important for critical voices to reflect this to increasingly discerning audiences. That's where I come in."
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Katharine Kavanagh on FacebookKatharine Kavanagh on InstagramKatharine Kavanagh on TwitterKatharine Kavanagh on Youtube
Katharine Kavanagh
Katharine is a circus writer based in the Midlands, a handy travel hub for getting out and about to new and smaller-scale work. From a background as a performer, theatre-maker and circus volunteer, Katharine took part in the EU-funded 'Unpack the Arts' circus residency, set up The Circus Diaries website, and now dedicates herself to sharing the intricacies of circus art with the world.

She says: "Circus is an area of performing arts where few people have the vocabulary and understanding to write balanced critical appraisal. This tends to result in wishy-washy 'reviews' that all sound the same and say very little about the relative quality of the show.

"As the circus arts grow in popularity and engagement across the UK, it's important for critical voices to reflect this to increasingly discerning audiences. That's where I come in."