First off I shall start this week with a little grovelling to atone for the recent lateness of these blog posts. But, if I had to pick a resolution for you, it would be to forgive.
This week I chose another ‘mini-world’ type resolution which has forced me to wonder if I have a repressed God-complex that is acting out. I was initially going to fuel this ‘urge to rule the world’ through the form of diorama, but mini people and furniture are disproportionately expensive, and I felt it would be unwise to raid my childhood dollhouse just in case those grandchildren my mother longs for do one day materialise. Or, in a more likely scenario, it finds its way onto Antiques Roadshow sometime in the next century.
Then I remembered a book that, when I was a younger version of myself, I used to look at with interest, although not enough interest to pick it up and show it the appropriate love. This book is called ‘Make your own World of the Theatre all you need is a pair of scissors and glue’ which is a particularly verbose and grammatically incorrect title, full of lies. Published by Angus & Robertson Publishers in 1982 it was obviously not a raging success as Mum purchased it for $2.00, reduced from $12.95. Sure it looks impressive, but the amount of detail is simply enough to put off any poor soul without the proper level of commitment. And really, how many people need a 3D theatre in their lives?
When consulting a few book reviews online I was assured that those few people who DID need a 3D theatre in their lives were very impressed. And one reviewer’s huge claim that the theatre took “a couple of hundred hours to build” was still not enough to deter me. It’s quite astounding what this challenge can motivate me to achieve, particularly when TV, books and bed sit devil-like on my shoulder, reminding me how enjoyable their company is.
As Mum has every handy kitchen and craft tool in existence I armed myself with the requisite glue and scissors (in big AND small sizes and both extremely sharp), Stanley knives (in a bewildering array of sizes), a cutting board, protractor and metal ruler. I then spent more hours than I care to discuss cutting out, folding and glueing tiny paper people and incredibly detailed sets.
The book, based on London’s Royal Opera House, includes sets and characters for two different performances—the ballet, Sleeping Beauty and the opera, La bohème. After finishing the model of the theatre and before starting on any of the sets I realised that “a couple of hundred hours” wasn’t the exaggeration I had hoped and made the call to work on only one of the performances. As an ex-ballet dancer Sleeping Beauty seemed the obvious choice, but in the spirit of these resolutions I instead chose La bohème as it is the closest to opera that I am ever likely to get. I find opera quite perplexing and even after reading La bohème’s history and synopsis I can’t fathom how they flesh out the story enough to make one of the world’s most frequently performed operas.
While I probably spent four solid days completing my ‘world of the theatre’ and the work was quite painful at times, it was also oddly therapeutic and exciting to know I was assembling something so detailed and beautiful. The authors, Rosemary Lowndes and Claude Kailer, have spared nothing in its creation and although the instructions were sometimes vague and a few directions were incorrect I fully commend them on such a thorough imagining. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Now I just need a way to preserve it so Antiques Roadshow can discover this theatrical gem, originally worth $2 and one girl’s precious sleeping, reading and TV viewing time.