Friday, December 30, 2016

A New Toy Theatre is Born: HAMILTON

The toy theatre includes a great example of pre-restoration (2013) interior architectural accuracy...
[Photo Credit:  Kelli Kirk]

Last week, one very lucky little boy received a rare Christmas gift nowadays:  A toy theatre. Not only was it a toy theatre, but it was an original, newly-conceived theatre based on the Richard Rodgers theatre in New York City.  On top of that, it was based on that theatre's current production - HAMILTON.

Milo's mother, Kelli shares a bit more:
For the past month, Mark and I have worked late at night after bedtime to build Milo a Victorian style "Toy Theater" of the play Hamilton: An American Musical - it includes a wooden stage, and all the players on tiny marionette wires. It was a
Actual side marque that Milo's toy
theatre was faithfully based upon...
painstaking project with tremendous scope creep but it is faithful to the original Victorian style toy theater as we could muster, except in the LED lighting - executive prerogative.
Toy Theater was a cultural phenomenon in the 19th century, a style of puppeteering that included a small stage and tiny 'marionette' style characters. Parents would go to the theater and bring home a toy version of the theater so the child could act out a play. When we visited London, puppeteers recommended we visit Pollock's Toy Museum which has a large collection. Pollock's was one of those quintessentially London places - tiny, many floors tall, higgledy-piggledy collections of amazing old toy theaters and childhood ephemera. Milo was completely captivated by them -- but they aren't really made today [at least not in the same way they once were - Note from Trish.]
Milo has had a passion for puppetry ever since he can
remember.  His Christmas gift of a toy theatre version
of the Richard Rodgers Theatre, featuring a production
of "Hamilton", made at night in secret by his parents!

[Photo Credit:  Kelli Kirk]

Our gift was a success and Milo declared, "Mom, this is the best present I ever got!" and quickly set about to acting out the Cabinet Battle.

From an article called The Rise and Fall of Toy Theatre (in recent years, it is rising again):

...A toy theatre was, as we will see, a tiny but complex structure—as intricate and lovingly assembled, in its way, as model railroads can be for today’s hobbyists. In its prime, it was not a nostalgic hobby but a breathless bulletin from the newly emerging world of mass communications and global celebrities—a chance for ordinary people to touch their heroes in person...

I have it on good authority that Milo and his Mom are two of the very lucky people who have secured tickets to HAMILTON, and will be attending a performance in the new year, in the new future. When Milo comes back home, I have a feeling he will be even more excited about not only the theatre but putting on a performance.

Welcome to the toy theatre family, Milo!

Comparing the theatre's exterior front to the toy theatre's, you can see the amount of detail that Milo's parents,
Kelli & Mark, put into recreating the Rodger's theatre on a miniature scale - a very fine job for their first time.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Rebel Red & The Wolf

Red encounters the Wolf


Sunday, January 8, 2017
[See Details by clicking on poster on the right]

Rebel Red lives with her mum Penny and her dad Will  in the a sleepy country village. Penny runs the community shop, Will is the forest ranger. Family life is disrupted when Granny Bake-Off’s herbal medicines get mixed up, and Grandpa Jack spots a huge wolf near their home...

This is a family show adapted by Joe Gladwin from the traditional LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD story

Help arrives in the nick of time!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Mouse Shops by Anonymouse

"Am I too late?" Mr. Mouse wonders.  It looks like he is - the door is locked, the lights are out, and no one answers...

"Mrs. Mouse will be very disappointed," Mr. Mouse mutters to himself as he leaves...
The mouse shop in-the-making.  The creative process and attention to detail are amazing!
You may think you’re a nice, considerate person.

But ask yourself: have you ever considered the appalling lack of shopping centres for tiny mice?

No. We didn’t think so.

Thankfully, some artists have made it their mission to give mice the shopping opportunities they’ve been desperately waiting for.

Anonymouse is an anonymous collective of artists. We do not know much about them, other than the fact that they’ve now spent quite some time creating very small shops for mice around Sweden.

The shop is about to open after an early morning rain...

The shops are all perfectly mouse-sized, and are decorated with mouse-friendly meals, posters advertising upcoming mouse concerts, tiny chairs for customers to perch on, and all other forms of mouse-related delights.

‘For us the main point with the little scenes are to spread a bit of joy, so the question of our identities seems quite irrelevant,’ Anonymouse told when asked to reveal their true selves.

‘The scene is there for its own sake so shifting focus to us just seems unnecessary.’

The attention to detail is amazing; nods to other rodentia works is amusing. 
The tiny labels, the country-of-origin all adds to the "reality of the small"!

Anonymouse told us that the idea for shops for mice started over a year ago in Paris.

‘We are obviously fond of miniatures,’ they said.

‘We like to imagine a world where mice lives parallel to ours but just slightly out of sight. It was also a bit of a fun challenge to look at a “human” object and consider what a mouse would do with it.’

They started to create the shops in March, and now work on making new ones occasionally, as the need arises.

The two mouse shops are located on a busy street corner, tucked away into a window well.

A customer's bike, a menu on the wall, and a credit card list on the door - who knew mice used credit cards?!

When asked if there’s a deeper meaning to the work other than providing mice with shops, Anonymouse said: ‘Nope. Only if you want it to be.’


Banksy Mouse?
Anyway, the whole thing is lovely, and mice finally have a place to buy tiny croissants. Hooray.

If you’d like to keep up to date on all mouse-focused building works, follow Anonymouse on Instagram.

Source:  MetroUK