The circus, during the height of its popularity, attracted huge numbers of people. These audiences were transported into an extraordinary world of pure entertainment and fantasy. There remain very few people who can still recall that experience firsthand, and yet most of us have a perception of what the circus was all about. On the 250th anniversary of what is widely regarded as the advent of the modern circus, this exhibition doesn’t aim to provide an accurate historical representation but instead celebrates the essential ingredients involved in creating any truly spectacular show beneath the ‘big top’. The images here are drawn together from assorted collections within the Archive of Modern Conflict and include the obligatory clowns, jugglers, magicians, acrobats, freaks, performing animals, and ringmasters.