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This Companion offers a wide-ranging and innovative guide to one of the most exciting and important periods in British theatrical history. The scope of the volume extends from the age of Garrick to the Romantic transformation of acting inaugurated by Edmund Kean. It brings together cutting-edge scholarship from leading international scholars in the long eighteenth century, offering lively and original insights into the world of the stage, its most influential playwrights and the professional lives of celebrated performers such as James Quin, George Anne Bellamy, John Philip Kemble, Dora Jordan, Fanny Abington and Sarah Siddons. The volume includes essential chapters about eighteenth-century acting, production and audiences, important surveys of key theatrical forms such as tragedy, comedy, melodrama and pantomime as well as a range of exciting thematic essays on subjects such as private theatricals, 'black' theatre and the representation of empire.