2- What kind of audience used to see toy theater performances ?
3-How the toy theaters were made in the 19th century?/ What kind of materials are made they with?
4-Can you tell me something about the interest of Charlie Chaplin or Robert Luis Stevenson in Pollock’s toys?
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the essay call ‘penny plain, twopence coloured’ – he was interested in toy theatre and went to visit Webb who was a toy theatre publisher of nearby Old Street, however he argued with him and went to visit Mr Pollock in Hoxton who was more amiable. This was how Mr Pollock became immortalised as the Toy Theatre publisher. Charlie Chaplin was one of the many visitors to the shop which was thought of as quaint and nostalgic even in the 1920s.
5-How was Benjamin Pollock? Can you tell me something about his interest with toys?
As told above, he was known as an amiable and diligent man who had inherited the business from his father-in-law Redington. One of his daughters Louisa did the colouring and eventually took on the business after his death in 1937. However, the family were unable to keep it going after the shop in Hoxton got bomb damaged in the second world war.
6-Who are Punch and Judy? What is their history?
Punch and Judy come from the Italian tradition of Commedia del Arte and is performed in England as an anarchic puppet show – there is a similar character in most European countries (Kasperl in German, Guignol in France). Punch is a rebellious character, Judy is his wife and there are a range of other characters than can appear including the Policeman, the Hangman, Joey the Clown and Toby the Dog. The first Punch and Judy show is recorded as being performed outside St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden by Samuel Pepys.
-7 Now, which are the most favorite classic toys?
People tend to like something they had from their own childhood. But people are attracted especially to the optical toys like zoetropes and the toy theatre as they represent a ‘low-fi’ version,( a pre-cursor to) of film, animation and computers which are the most popular entertainments of today. People are also attracted to the miniature, this I think reminds them of being a child, of a time when they could ‘play’. It is important as an adult to remember how to ‘play’ and tell stories and that’s what Pollock’s represents to many people.