Pollock\'s Toy Theatre has arrived on the iPad

Once upon a time, in Victorian London, a young boy named Benjamin Pollock was born. It was 1856 and the toy theatre trade was flourishing over in the other side of London. Covent Garden was home to the nations theatres. Here the printers of the day capitalized on London’s favorite entertainment and produced printed theatrical portraits of stage stars and with them ‘The Juvenile Drama’, a miniature theatre to construct from paper on which Victorians would perform their own version of the current melodrama or pantomime.

Back in Hoxton, Pollock as a young man working in the fur trade fell in love with Miss Eliza Redington, the pretty daughter of the owner of the nearby Theatrical Print Warehouse and expert colourist. The romance led to marriage and the inheritance of the family business.

Then in the 1880s, Robert Louis Stevenson visited London and went on a search for theatrical sheets. Stevenson found Pollock so delightful, he later immortalised him in an essay: “If you love art, folly or the bright eyes of children, speed to Pollock’s”. Consequently, by the 1920s, a pilgrimage to Pollock’s shop had become popular with the great actors, performers and designers of the London stage, the likes of which included Charlie Chaplin, the impresario Diaghilev as well as a young boy called Winston Churchill.

On 22nd December the toy theatre will arrive to the iPad.  It will introduce the toy theatre to a new generation of actors, art students, toy collectors and anyone interested in the inventive novelties of childhood. This new-age development keeps alive the spirit of Benjamin Pollock and his toy theatres.

Downloadable  press release

Sneak preview on youTube

21 December 2010
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