The Greatest Show of All

My story takes it inspiration from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. In that play, Viola’s decision to dress as a boy creates comical confusion. When Orsino sends her to Olivia with his love messages, Olivia falls in love with her. And Viola falls in love with Orsino, but of course she has to keep this to herself.

This love triangle is one of the elements of the play that I decided to borrow for my story.

I decided to set it in a circus, ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’, because, like Ilyria, where Twelfth Night takes place, a circus is an enclosed world. It’s a magical place, where people dress up and perform. It’s also a place where you feel anything can happen, a place of excitement, tension and laughter.

When Kitty enters this world, like Viola, she has to ‘put on a show’ by choosing to play a part, but also by hiding her deepest feelings. She sets off on her adventure, hoping to find her brother Tom. Along the way, she makes unexpected discoveries about herself and others. Like the characters in Twelfth Night she also has to answer the all-important question: “Where does my heart truly lie?

Reviews

“Jane Eagland’s latest book for Barrington Stoke gave me a lovely warm glow”

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