Cinderella Theatre Set (The Children's Book of Pantomimes)

From The Brighton Toy and Model Index

A combined children's book and paper toy theatre, "The Children's Book of Pantomimes" (Cassell, 1930).

The book contains six popular pantomime stories, plus:

The Model Theatre, with the scenery, characters and dialogue of the favourite pantomime, CINDERELLA


FROM this page onwards will be found a complete Model Theatre, correct in every detail.

The back cover of the book forms the proscenium — which is the frame-like structure that surrounds the stage and separates the actors from the audience. Behind this will be found the "act drop." When parted, this folds back to form the proscenium wings, which serve to support the proscenium.

"Wings" is the name given to the pieces of scenery that you see at the pantomime on each side of the stage, the front pair of which are always painted to match the hangings and decorations of the theatre. These are called the proscenium wings and remain in use throughout the performance, no matter what scene is set upon the stage. These should be placed as far apart as they will go in order to give as wide a view of the stage as possible. When the book is laid face downwards and the proscenium has been stood in position, you will find a sandy-coloured sheet of paper lying upon the stage. This is called a neutral stage cloth, the colour being chosen so that it will go with any scene. Beneath this will be found all the scenery required for the production of Cinderella. As each scene is unfolded and stood upright on the stage, the backcloth will be supported by the wings and vice versa, with the exception of

the kitchen scene, which is what is called a box scene. The two side flaps of this scene should be set at an angle to the backcloth like this


/ \

And now to explain briefly the stage directions.

A stage — like an argument — always has two sides. The one on the right hand — as you look at the stage from the auditorium — is called the "prompt" side, because the prompter, who is the man who helps the actors when they -forget their words, stands there. The other side is the O.P. side, so called because it is opposite to the prompter, I suppose. When the stage directions — which you will find printed on the back of each scene with the dialogue — says that so-and-so "enters R.," it means that the character in question will come on to the stage from the "prompt" side; and when they say "enter L.," that means from the O.P. side, which is the left of the stage as viewed by the audience.

Likewise, when the directions say so-and-so exit L. or R., it means left or right from the point of view of the audience. The word exit means going out or departing.

As to the production of Cinderella itself, the pantomime is divided into five scenes, played in three different sets, as follows;

Scene 1 A WOODLAND GLADE Scene 2 THE BARON'S KITCHEN Scene 3 THE BALL-ROOM Scene 4 THE KITCHEN (Same as Scene 2) Scene 5 THE BALL-ROOM (Same as Scene 3)

All the words will be found on the back of the scene in which they are enacted, One "performer" may, of course, deliver the whole of the dialogue for all the characters if necessary, but if several "performers" are available, they can each speak for one or more of the characters.

It will be seen that the various characters of the play are mounted upon stands. As the dialogue is being delivered, the character that is supposed to be speaking should be moved about slightly, in order that the audience may know which is being enacted.

There are nine characters in the play, some of which appear in two costumes; these are duplicated and should be used in the various scenes in the following costumes: Scene x Scene 2 Scene 5 Scene 4 Scene CINDERELLA - Rags Rags and Ball Dress Rags Ball Dress Ball Dress WITCH - Long Cloak - - - - PENELOPE 5 Ugly Hunting Ball Ball Ball Ball CHARMAIN tSisters I Costume Dress Dress Dress Dress lHunting - Ball - Ball BARON - Costume Costume Costume PRINCE f Hunting - Ball Ball Ball - Costume Costume Costume Costume DANDINI tCostumeHunting - Ball Ball Ball Costume Costume Costume fand Gossamer Gossamer FAIRY- Wings and Wings HERALD Red Red Uniform Uniform

And now I've told you all about it, Gather your friends—from the housetops shout it; Tell them that they must arrive in time To witness your grand Fairy Pantomime, UNCLE BERTIE.