Toy Theatres pic1 – Clare Calder-Marshall

The Tiny World of Toy Theatre

5 August 2022 - 3 June 2023

Discover the magical world of toy theatres in this newly expanded display on the top floor of Pickford’s House. The exhibition showcases the best of Derby Museums’ world-class toy theatre collection, which is one of the largest in the country. It features toy and model theatres from The Frank Bradley Collection, Anthony Denning and practising toy theatre makers Joseph Hope Williams, Trevor Griffin and Alison Englefield.

The toy theatre originates from around 1800, when print sellers marketed prints of famous actors and actresses of the day. Their trade soon expanded to allow theatre enthusiasts and children to build miniature model theatres and stage plays in their own homes.

Featuring enchanting scenes from Sleeping BeautyTreasure IslandLittle Red Riding Hood and Aladdin are amongst the intricate theatres on display from Derby Museums’ collection. A revolving Dracula theatre, based on Edward Gorey’s sets for the 1977 Broadway production takes pride of place. Visitors can also see animated toy theatre excerpts from The Phantom of The OperaThe Miller and His Men and Aladdin.

Explore the links to Derby’s theatres from the Georgian era to the present, including the world premiere of the stage play of Dracula in 1924. Discover the origins of the toy theatre movement and learn how toy theatres were made with films showing artists and tinsellers at work.

FREE – Give What You Think

Suitable for all.

**Pickford’s House has accessibility restrictions to its upper floors. If you have special access requirements, please contact us before visiting: 01332 641901 or email [email protected]**

Image © Clare Calder-Marshall

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