Here's the review I wrote for Animations.

Paper Theatre – Théâtre de Papier

by Alain Lecucq £4.95 plus p&p

Given the renewed interest in Toy Theatre, one might have expected a more contemporary outlook in this new very well illustrated 40 page A4 magazine. Nevertheless, it pulls together interesting historical pieces and features the life and work of George Speaight who has probably done more than most to stimulate the re-emergence of this traditional form of puppet theatre. There are several photos of George at work and a transcript of a paper About Toy Theatre in England given by him in 1998 at Troyes in which he points out that ‘Paper Theatre’ is a better description of this form because it wasn’t a toy in the normal sense. The ‘Guy Fawkes’ in Mayhew’s interview refers to "ha’penny a sheet plain, and penny a sheet coloured". Speaight also refers to these early sheets produced by Skelt pointing out that the words ‘Juvenile Drama’ did not appear on them but on the playbooks of West and Hodgson which had no scenery and were more like souvenirs of the plays. There is an article on proscenia by Peter Baldwin, extracts from The Juvenile Drama, a reprint of the well-known Stevenson essay A Penny Plain and Twopence Coloured, and a piece on the highlights of the collection of Spanish architect, Mariano Bayon, followed by a list of Spanish toy theatre publishers.

Ray DaSilva
[ Return to Sources ]