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 HOUSE OF FAUN, FUMUSOPOLIS
101 Descension Row is the state residence of the First Minister of The Land of Angels. The area is heavily monitored by 'SEE-SEE TV' and patrolled by the much feared totalitarian Governments Psych-Cops. The premier herself 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.