Our Pollock's Toy Theatre
Click on the blue arrow to play, then click on the white centre arrow. Double click on the screen to get to full screen view.
With pantomimes few and far between this season the Committee decided we should create our own version of Cinderella, using a Pollock’s Toy Theatre, with actor members providing the voices. As a short script came with the theatre, and Rob had already composed music and songs for the production, we set ourselves the target of getting it onto the website by the end of January. A cast was quickly assembled, we rehearsed and recorded the dialogue over three sessions courtesy of the ubiquitous Zoom, and those with songs to sing recorded them at home. The cut-out characters were synchronised with the voices as they were moved around the stage and partly animated with some additional digital special effects. The entire pantomime was completed in the space of three and a bit weeks.
We hope you enjoy watching it in the same spirit as it was created: a chance for us to have some fun and hopefully put a smile on people's faces. A huge thank you to everyone who took part at such short notice. As always, any feedback would be appreciated to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toy theatre dates back to the early 19th century in Europe. Miniature stages, characters, scenery and props were printed onto paper from copper plates and sold as individual sheets. These could be cut out, pasted onto card or wood and painted as required. The ‘actors’ were mounted onto little tin slides and were pushed onto the stage from the side wings. Victorian melodramas, pantomimes and historical romances were then performed by children for family members and guests, sometimes with live musical accompaniment. In the first half of the 19th century more than 300 of London’s most popular plays were issued as toy theatres. However, their popularity declined during the late 1800s. One shop remains in London: Benjamin Pollock, whose shop struggled on until its owner’s death in the 1930s. Fortunately, with a mid-20th century resurgence of interest, the business was bought and re-established, firstly in 1944 and again in the early 1950’s, and today there is once again a good choice of toy theatres to buy. Pollock’s Toy Museum, along with its adjoining toy shop, is currently located in Bloomsbury and under normal circumstances is open to visitors.
Click on a photo to enlarge