Life is a theatre set in which there are but few practicable entrances.
The scenic properties of the Juvenile Drama followed closely the conventions of The Regency and Early Victorian Theatre productions. A canvas backcloth would be hung and painted with the background scene. In front of this pairs of wings would be placed in grooves between the backdrop and the proscenium to create layered depth to a scene and mask the actors entrance and exit. Gas fuelled floodlights at high level also lead to the development of top drops to hide them from the audiences view. Three dimensional furniture or props, such as a table would only be introduced to the stage if intrinsic to the performance or plot. More usually these items would be visually depicted on the backdrop or wings.
The original printed paper Juvenile Drama scenes were produced in the same format - backdrop preceded by two sets of wings and then top drops. Like the character sheets these would be available for a penny plain or two pence coloured. Our scenes are produced in the same way, hand drawn plain, then coloured before being cut out and layered within the model theatre.
Take a little look 'behind the scenes' and explore some of our settings and scenes from 'The Four Half-Horsemen", a little further...
MINIATURE LIGHTING RIG
Our model theatre doesn't have gas lights to create visual effects (!), but does benefit from a carefully arranged series of miniature candle bulbs for footlights and coloured LED spot lights which can be mounted at strategic points on the theatre frame. The timber frame allows for a series of four
drops and wings to be dropped in between the back of the stage and the proscenium.
SCENERY & PROP MAKING
As with the traditional toy theatres, all of the scenery and props in our Juvenile Drama productions are illustrated by hand before being coloured, mounted onto stiff card and cut out - again by hand. This craft element is important to us and you can see the scale we're working at here -
the main backdrop measures the size of one A4. There are no three dimensional elements. Again, as with the traditional productions, everything is produced in the flat and then assembled in a layered format to create the depth in a scene.
WIKYTHIA, TEMPLE OF APOLLO XIII
Wikythia is the earth's core processor. Part oracle, part encyclopedia of all knowledge, she hovers suspended over the Well of Wisdom inside the Temple of Apollo XIII, Fumusopolis. Here she channels the earths consciousness, imparting her advice to travellers who come seeking her insight
from far and wide. But one must be careful not to hear only what one wants to hear, since some of her sources are flawed, unreliable witnesses.
THE TEMPLE OF SILENUS, WORLDS END
Below his temple at World's End, Silenus lies; not dead but hungover.
Silenus is one of the Minor Young Things - a lesser known deity. He is discovered by The Four who then embark on a journey to discover how and why
Silenus has broken the plain between the heavens and the earth. Despite a known penchant for Nectar of the Grapes, Silenus has apparently been mixing his drinks with a strange brew known only as 'Faux Beer'. Could identifying where this has come from provide a clue to Silenus current state?
THE HOUSE OF FAUN, FUMUSOPOLIS
101 Descension Row is the state residence of Premier Grievous Krück - First Minister of Angelus Terra. The area is heavily monitored by 'SEE-SAW TV' and patrolled by the totalitarian Governments much feared Psych-Cops. The premier is highly reclusive, rarely venturing outside the house except
to deliver carefully worded propaganda and political statements which are broadcast around the capital city, Fumusopolis, via a series of tannoy's and projections.
THE FAKES PROGRESS, FUMUSOPOLIS
Once the pea and ham soupers that have been clouding the city in recent times have receded, The Four find themselves at the Fumusopolis Skydocks.
Warned they will never find a more wretched hive of frothy impropriety, they proceed with caution.
The Fakes Progress is the notorious home of
Wm. Fauxgarth's synthetically brewed 'Unreal Ales'. made with Ersatz Hops and Barely Barley. The company's exported barrels of 'Faux Beer' found their way to the 'The End of the World Party'. But how, why and what part did they play in the current state of things?
SATYRDEUS EVENING UNDEAD
Classical theatre can't have Tragedy without Comedy. Or Satyr. This long running weekly light entertainment show hosted by yours truly is broadcast on Empty V - regularly voted 'Nobody's Favourite Satyrlite Channel.'
Regular acts on the show include Les Deux Johannes, Mr.Trick (The Shit Magician) and H.P.Lovecraft reading your Cosmic Horror Scopes. Music is performed by the Juvenile Drama house band Dr.Thalamus and the Craniums.
SATYRDEUS EVENING UNDEAD SET
The TV Studio Set features a giant illuminated Hellmouth from which the performers emerge. During the opening credit sequence we are treated to the electric guitar work of Hack and catch a glimpse of chief cinematographer, Cindacula.
The set is embellished either side of the Hellmouth with appropriate props for each of the subsequent performers, along with lighting changes. The one exception is for Les Deux Johannes whose appearances take place in the C.O.JONES shop.