Museum is keeping the drama of toy theatre alive with a new exhibition

A special exhibition featuring 14 artists will reflect on the unique collection of dolls, teddy bears, and toy theatres, at Pollock’s Toy Museum in Fitzrovia this month.

Man standing in museum.

Jack Fawdry is carrying on the tradition started by his great-grandmother Marguerite Fawdry.

A Pollock’s Gallimaufry will be a month long event showing works by contemporary artists working in a variety of crafts and media inspired by the unique, mostly Victorian, collection at the two historic buildings on the corner of  Scala Street and Whitfield Street.

Jack Fawdry, whose great grandmother founded the museum, is curating the exhibition and has gathered the artists together to produce the works.

“It’s quite exciting because the toy theatre has had a turbulent past and it almost disappeared completely,” says Fawdry who is an accomplished artist and printmaker.

“Mr Pollock was the last great publisher of toy theatres, then he went out of business. After the Second World War Britain started to modernise and change and its Victorian past was slightly left behind.

“So that’s when Marguerite, my great grandma, comes in and starts the museum in homage to toy theatres,” he says.

Since then the toys of old have achieved an underground status and Fawdry is keeping tradition going in inventive ways by encouraging the artists he knows through his work and social circle to get involved and maintain an appreciation of the drama of theatre-in-miniature and the love of traditional toys.

“We’re keeping it alive somehow in a very weird sub-culture that’s going on,” he says.

The month long exhibition will be launched with a private viewing to be followed by a very rare toy theatre performance upstairs at the pub next door, accompanied by special effects and live music.

A Pollock’s Gallimaufry: Exhibition of artists’ responses to the museum collection, Pollock’s Toy Museum, 1 Scala Street, London W1T 2HL. Open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday, from 8 November to 7 December 2019. Admission: £7 adult; £6 concs; £4 child. 

Opening event: Thursday 7 November 2019, 6pm to 8pm at Pollock’s Toy Museum, 1 Scala Street; from 8pm, Toy Theatre Performances in the top room, The Hope Pub, 15 Tottenham Street. Admission free. Invitation.

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