Monday, February 14, 2022

Valentine's Night at the Theatre...

 Greetings, Dear Friends and Happy Valentine's Day!

First, a word about Valentine's Day.  I hear many people don't like it, don't celebrate it, but perhaps those people don't know what I've always known:  Valentine's Day is not just for couples.  It's for love of all kinds!  It's for mothers and children, fathers and children, for friends, for neighbors, for crushes, for secret loves.  It's also for people celebrating being their own best friends!  Don't feel left behind by this holiday because love is for everyone!

What a treat we have awaiting us tonight!  Won't you please join us at the theatre, for a beautiful performance of Beauty and the Beast in a toy theatre and then, an after-theatre tea?

How many of you are familiar with the classic film "La Belle et La Bête", directed by Jean Cocteau, from 1946?  It's beautiful, atmospheric and even a bit spookily surreal!  In spite of its strangeness, it is still deeply romantic.  If you haven't seen it, please find it and watch it.

(As always, click on images in order to see them larger.)

How very fortunate we are that the wonderful artist and illustrator Clive Hicks-Jenkins was inspired by this wonderful movie when working on some projects with David W. Slack of Design For Today and Olivia McCannon, on a beautifully illustrated toy theatre, complete with booklet of stage direction, script and even music!  I'm very happy to tell you that my dear husband, Mr. V, gave me one of these wonderful theatres for Christmas.  It was so much fun to assemble and I had even more fun adding some of my own special touches!

As a very special Valentine treat today, the Doll & Toy Family will be enjoying an elegant evening performance of this story, through the magic of this toy theatre and then, an after-theatre Teeny Tea!

I had so much fun assembling the theatre!  In addition to the helpful hints that were included (and some extras that Clive let me know about), I did add a few extra touches as well.  I was captivated by some videos that were made of it, where small candles were used to light it, so I added three battery-operated candles, which flicker.  I also added some small pieces of black paper to the front, to shield the audience from the glare of the lights, just like a real theatre!  In the instructions, black cardstock was called for to make sliders for the characters and scenery.  I also used the cardstock to cover the white tabs, in the back of the pieces and also rounded the ends of the sliders and stands, just because I liked them that way!  Finally, I did add some of my Stickles glitter glue, in discrete ways, just to add a bit more glamour.  Such fun!

Here's a picture to show you close up what some of the Black Diamond Stickles look like (an effect that's hard to photograph, for some reason).  It shimmers mostly in black, with small flashes of green and purple!

So now, we join our beloved Family, on their way to a night at the theatre!  They are all in evening wear (made by me!) and are all looking quite elegant!

In line, politely waiting to be seated.

Everyone is enjoying being dressed up for
this special evening treat!

The seats

Everyone has their own placecard!

Vases of calla lilies and purple velvet leaves, behind the theatre

The view of the stage from the seats.

The guests begin to take their seats!

Thursday, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Mr. Bear have taken their seats.

As have Brownie McNutt, Eadwig, Betty Boop and Edwardy

Edwardy is planning on keeping his placecard as a souvenir!

Now, Mr. Mookie, Hyacinthe, Teddy and Parsnip are seated.

And now, the lights go down, as the performance begins!

Along with the photos I have taken,
I have included a few short passages from the playscript,
included with the theatre kit.
...And how it was I came
On a horse
Through the trees
To this enchanted domain...

...What kind of creature lives in such a place?...

...Tell me, Gates, how will I find the Beast?...

...My name was glowing above the door
At the top of the stairs...

...In a forest within a room
Beneath a roof of fizzing stars...

...Let me leave the castle, Beast
And fight what causes you distress...

...I'm dying...I can't live
Without my Beauty...

...Beast!  Hold on, I'm here...

...The world isn't mine
But the world is me

Diana, wild mother...

Bless Beauty's Beast
And bless Beast's Beauty!


And now, who is ready for a late night, after-theatre tea?

We start off with a nice hot cup of tea!  Our choices tonight are Oliver Pluff's Passionfruit Peach or Harney & Sons Paris blend, which is a combination of vanilla, caramel, bergamot and black current.  Which would you prefer?

We all enjoy our tea with a splash of milk and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar.

On such a cold night as this, some nice warm food and
tea will be quite welcome, won't it?  

It's Edwardy's first tea with us and he's very excited!

Hot tea warms bugs up quite nicely too, 
Eadwig would like you to know,
as he sips from a cup more his size!

We start out tonight with, a comforting, warm asparagus custard, 
served atop a baked parmesan tuile.

And now, a special Valentine's dessert fantasy display,
including White Russian cupcakes,
pink and white meringues and fresh blackberries!

Such a happy Hearts and Flowers Day it has been!
Thank you so much for joining us here!

You can find the work of Clive Hicks-Jenkins at his Instagram here.
Thank you so much, Clive, for your guidance and interest in
my inclusion of your wonderful theatre in my blog post today!

White Russian Cupcake recipe from Christina's Cucina.

The easiest meringue recipe from King Arthur Baking.

Although it was printed in a limited quantity,
there are still copies of the Beauty & Beast Toy Theatre available
to be ordered at Design for Today here.

The mourning eye brooches worn by Thursday and Hyacinthe
can be found at the website for Timberchouse.