History

Toy theatres were readily available in the times of Charles Dickens. These miniature paper replica theatres were available in plain or coloured format. A whole range of plays and imaginative scenery were produced, based upon popular allegories of the time.

These delightful miniature theatres were created within the home environment, offering hours of entertainment in the creation of coloured scenery, wings and back-drops.

There was great interest in creating play-books and scenery that captured the imagination of productions at that time.

Many of the miniature productions were produced by Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop. The origins of this shop go back to Hoxton in the East of London. A whole variety of alluring plays with matching scenes and characters were produced by John Reddington and Benjamin Pollock. The original plays were produced on hand engraved copper plates.

In the late Victorian period the fashion for home productions of miniature theatres productions died away in favour of differing trends such as magic lanterns.