One thought on “Toy Theatre

  1. Story written from interview with Noonie, 53, Artist, London, UK.

    The toy theatre is not yet finished and she treasures it all the more for that because she can still dream of its glorious future. She started making it 23 years ago for her eldest son’s fourth birthday, out of an old wine crate. It was during a happy phase when he loved to sit next to her thoughtfully while they made animals out of varnished cardboard, choosing tropical birds from encyclopaedia’s and painting them on both sides so they could spin around in the air. Of these animals a pink flamingo, a silver breasted toucan and an alligator have survived and migrated to the toy theatre, gathering dust alongside the actor in residence, a dark haired man in a tunic with only one remaining arm and a missing sandal. Down the sides of the theatre she painted the four elements and other renaissance images, a gloved hand holding a fan, groaning masks, a key, a crown, and various mythical creatures. She only finished this painting four years after she had begun it, in a burst of nervous creativity prompted by the discovery that she was pregnant with her third child

    The toy theatre sat in the front room of her house for years when she was married and was played with a lot by every child that came round for tea. Once a letter was posted through the letterbox addressed to “Wooden O’Theatre”. A student walking past had seen the toy theatre through the window and mistakenly decided that the person living there must be some sort of theatre producer or set designer. He was looking for a job, and it was a very flattering letter “Wooden O’Theatre, you are so beautiful” and so on.

    When she moved into her own house the Theatre had to be accommodated even though there wasn’t any space for it. It sits on the desk in her bedroom, taking up half the table space, and is constantly being invaded by pens and paperclips and to-do lists. At least when boring letters from her in-tray creep in they have become part of an unreal world and she can ignore them for longer.

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