By the end of the eighteenth century, the Comédie-Italienne, which had for many years sustained the Commedia dell’Arte tradition in France, had lost much of its popularity and its scenarios had become dated and old-fashioned. The traditional slapstick and improvisation, historically associated with Commedia, had gradually been replaced by scripts, story lines and characters that appealed to a more refined audience taste. The popular traditions of the Commedia dell’Arte were, by the start of the nineteenth century, more evident in the entertainments presented at the Paris fairs, such as the Foire Saint-Germain and the fair on the Place Saint-Laurent. The fair performances variously included popular plays, comic operas, tumblers, ropewalkers, trained animals and puppets. Recurring periods of censorship had meant that most of these performances had developed silent pantomime or song as a mode of communication that might avoid the historical restrictions placed upon them not to employ dialogue. Whilst the Comédie-Italienne eventually joined with the Opéra-Comique to present light, musical theatre, it was the silent pantomime tradition of the fair grounds that was to prove the most lasting influence on French and Western theatre practice.