A World of Fancies : The Toy Theatre and the Living Image

The eternal desire to see stories come to life has led to great creativity throughout history. An increase in theatre-going and interest in theatrical souvenirs during the Regency period sparked the beginning of the toy theatre, a creative hobby that saw young people colouring and cutting out printed sheets of characters from popular plays, and performing on miniature theatres for family and friends at home.

This genre forms part of a continuum of printed works and optical toys that try to bring stories to life, drawing places and characters off the stage and off the page and creating a fanciful world of colour and motion.

This exhibition was curated by Elizabeth Ridolfo and on display at the Fisher Library from 5 September to 20 December 2023