Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Very Special Toy Theatre Performance...

It was recently announced on the Toy Theatre group's mailing list about an upcoming performance that I felt sounded very exciting.  I emailed the person listed as contact, and she was kind enough to share the graphic (shown below) used on a poster promoting the December 6th show.

Royal Holloway's
Department of Drama and Theatre Presents:
Toy Theatre Transformed!

Courtesy:  Samantha Turner [Click to see larger version...]

What I found exciting about it was, a university was actively promoting and TEACHING a course on toy theatre, and this show is the culmination of that course, with the students putting on the performance.

Samantha Turner (contact for RHUL) shared:

A celebration of the heritage of paper theatre in England and world-wide in anticipation of toy theatre's 200th anniversary in 2011.  Student performances of a new version of  A Christmas Carol, based on the Charles Dickens story and incorporating nineteenth-century toy theatre figures and sets from the Museum of London's collection; Jack B. Yeats' miniature circus Onct More's First Circus (1901); and The Red Tree, based on the story book by Shaun Tan.  The celebration will also include a small exhibition.  The event is the culmination of an intensive one-term course on Toy Theatre, which took students to toy theatre archives and institutions around the country, and involved the participation of acclaimed New Model Theatre artist Robert Poulter.

Performance will be held at Royal Holloway, in the Handa Noh Theatre.Doors will open at 6pm on December 6th, with performances beginning promptly at 6:30pm.  No latecomers admitted.

For instructions on how to get to Royal Holloway, see here. The Handa Noh Theatre is number 25 on the campus map.

The event is free, but reservations are required.  Please contact Samantha Turner at telephone: 07766258571 or contact Samantha via email...

I applaud their choice of subject matter - fascinating!  I envy those of you who can attend.  If you go, I'd love to hear from you.

Bravo, Royal Holloway, for doing your part to keep this very special form of performance art alive.  All over the world, more and more people continue to discover the relevance, magic, and joy of toy theatre.  May it continue to be discovered for many years to come...

Monday, November 08, 2010

New Toy Shop Opens!

Peter Baldwin shares his passion for toy theatre [Photo Credit:  BBC]
Benjamin Pollock's Toyshop has opened a new branch.

You read right.  The well-known toy shop, particularly known for toy theatres, is branching out.

Read more about it here...

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Playette Theatre

I ran across the above video of an old toy theatre on YouTube recently. Not a classic toy theatre, it is a type nonetheless. The person who posted it had this to day about it...
In 1942, my father, Larry Wise, and my uncle, Dick Briefer, collaborated on the invention and design of a "toy theatre," called the Playette Theatre, and this video is a kind of nostalgic homage to that formative period in my childhood, and to the two men whose wild creativity were such inspirational models to me as I grew up in the thrall of their energetic imaginations.

The theatre itself was a knock-down cardboard item packed in a colorful, flat box, with instructions for folding and inserting tabs into slots to create the theatre structure in all its Dick Briefer-illustrated glory, as shown in the first slides of the video.