Archive for the 'Free downloads' Category

29
Sep
20

Another new play

Here is our latest production, a Toy Theatre version of “Puss-in-Boots”. We think that this may actually be the very first entirely new English Toy Theatre play of the 21st Century, unless you know differently!

Having said that it is not entirely original, we have based the design on illustrations for a book of fairy tales published by Orlando Hodgson. He was a Toy Theatre publisher although he never published “Puss-in-Boots” as a play.

We hope that you enjoy this. You can also download our information about how to perform Toy Theatre plays on our recent “Robin Hood” post.

13
Jul
20

A new play for the Toy Theatre

Robin Hood

We have created a new internet version of the play “Robin Hood”, which we first published in 1976. This has A4 size scenery to fit our Grand Theatre and includes a full colour edition as well as a plain edition, if you like colouring yourself. There is also a new note to explain how to perform Toy Theatre plays. All free to download here.

We hope that you enjoy this.

Robin Hood coloured

Robin Hood plain

Robin Hood playbook cover

Robin hood book

Performing toy theatre plays

16
Jun
20

A new Toy Theatre

STAGE FRONTIn 2020 the only way that you can experience a live theatrical performance with a large cast and lots of changes of scene is if you are lucky enough to have a Toy Theatre in your home. With this in mind we have produced a brand new Toy Theatre, based on traditional designs, which you can down load here. It uses A4 size scenery and can be built using materials many people will already have in their home, so it suits the present time very well.

The “Grand Theatre” also has a new booklet to help you build it. The 33 pages also include lots of special effect techniques that can be used for any Toy Theatre. If you are very clever you can set up your printer to print it as an A5 page size booklet.

STAGE FRONT

HOW TO BUILD THE GRAND THEATRE

20
Apr
14

Skelt’s Juvenile Drama

waterman

We have been republishing original nineteenth century English Toy Theatre plays under the title of “Skelt’s Juvenile Drama”. The Skelts were one of the most prolific publishers and all these titles derive from their productions. We have stopped selling these and are now making them available as free downloads, the only condition being that you must not make commercial use of them.

Most of these plays are “plain”, which is the way collectors prefer but a few are in colour mainly where the original sheets that we have photographed were coloured.
Wood Daemon
Mary the Maid of the Inn
Der Freischutz internet
Captain Ross
Richard Turpin
George Barnwell
Waterman

Turpin robbing the mail
George Barnwell

26
Jan
11

Toy Theatre is over Two Hundred years old!

Early in 1811 William West, a London print seller, published a sheet showing eight characters from the popular pantomime, “Harlequin and Mother Goose”. The print was in the style of children’s lottery prints, each figure being drawn inside a box with a caption underneath. It is now believed that the plate was engraved for William West by John Green who later claimed to have been “The original inventor”. Green did not draw the figures but copied them from various sources.

The publication appears to have been an outstanding success, 5000 copies were sold immediately. West followed this with the publication of similar souvenir sheets in two or three plates covering at least 21 other plays during 1811. The “box” style was quickly abandoned.

West was not alone. Two lady print sellers, Mrs. Jameson of Duke’s Court off Bow Street and Mrs.Hebberd of Marylebone each published similar souvenir sheets during 1811. In all we know of 35 publications that year covering 30 separate play titles.

A year later stage fronts, wooden stages and scenery made their appearance and the Toy Theatre, as we know it, began. The events of 1811 were however the origin.

Here are copies of typical 1811 sheets for you to download.

“Harlequin and Mother Goose” is the original sheet engraved by Green and published by West. It is the “missing link” between children’ lottery prints and the Toy Theatre.

“Council of Ten” is an example of one of the earliest West publications. It shows the principal characters in that play, which was also known as the, “Lake of the Grotto,” performed on and around the water tank at the Sadlers Wells Theatre. Notice that two characters appear to float on small rafts! The two sheets of this play were copied and republished by George Skelt and these are reproduced here.

West original

Council of Ten

22
Jun
10

green’s characters and scenes

The latest in our series of information sheets (No.4) gives details about the publications of J.K.Green. There is a list of all his plays showing how many plates of characters, scenes, wings etc., a list of the wings series with descriptions and other details. It is something of great use to collectors and we are the only people publishing this type of list. Hugo Brown, who is a descendent of Mr.Green himself, has provided much of the information and checked it. We are very grateful to him.

The document can be downloaded here Green.




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