Thursday, November 30, 2017

MACBETH for the Toy Theatre

I just got back from seeing a student production of Shakespeare's Macbeth at City College. This reminded me of the toy theatre versions of the play I saw over the summer while doing research at the New York Public Library.

Here's an image from Hodgson's toy theatre plates. Notice, they were going for the full-on Highland look. This seems typical for the nineteenth century.

Duncan looks perhaps a bit less openly Scottish, but fittingly regal in this image from the third plate of characters:

I'm quite amused by this soldier bringing Birnam Wood to Dunsinane:

Of course, the star of the show is usually Lady Macbeth, shone here with daggers:

In addition to buying plates of characters, toy theatre owners could buy whole scenes to drop down into their miniature stages to create a tableau. Here's one of the banquet scene:

I like the expression on Banquo's face. "Just look at what you did to me, Mackers! Just look!" I imagine some Victorian child just loved that.