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Hugo’s Toy Theatre

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Issue 2 – 16th June 2004

 

Welcome to this the second news bulletin for “Hugo’s Toy Theatre”.

 

I started creating this web-site just two months ago. It has already progressed along way, but it is probably less than 10% complete.

 

My aim is to have as complete a record of the “Life and Works” of John Kilby Green as possible. In the past few days I have greatly expanded the history section “The Original Inventor” with much help from David Powell, one of the trustees of Pollock’s Museum Trust. He has provided many new angles on the life and times of JK Green, from his extensive knowledge gained whilst cataloguing Green’s collection of plates, most of which are still in existence at Pollock’s Museum (more of which below). This section will continue to be updated as more information is discovered.

 

The majority of JK Green’s works are the 55 Plays he produced. On this site I have made the following plays available to view:-

 

Harlequin & Guy Fawkes – Penny Plain - Characters, Scenes & Book of Words.

Harlequin & the Giant Helmet – Penny Plain - Characters & Scenes.

The Silver Palace - Both Penny Plain & Tuppence Coloured – Characters & Scenes.

The Flying Dutchman - Penny Plain - Characters & Scenes.

Blackbeard the Pirate - Penny Plain - Characters & Scenes.

 

The Books of Words will follow shortly for the above plays, plus many more plays to follow over the next few months.

 

There are only a few other web-sites dedicated to the Toy Theatre (less than 20 and most are included on my LINKS page). However two have disappeared recently, firstly, www.geocities.com/toytheatreshop/home.htm which was a site selling MD Everett’s productions. This appears to have been removed due to inactivity by the web-master. I can’t say I’m surprised as I have tried to contact them on many occasions without reply. The other site to disappear was www.pollocksweb.co.uk . But this made a dramatic return a couple of days ago, with an announcement that the web-site was being re-opened as an archive.

 

TECHNICAL BITS

 

My initial plan was to create a CD-ROM with a complete play there on, both in Penny Plain and in Tuppence Coloured, with as much detail and history behind the play and Green’s production thereof. But recently I have acquired this web-site www.toytheatre.net and it has a staggering 500Mbytes of space, plus I have a further 2Gbytes, which I can access should I need to. This means I will easily be able to complete the web-site using the current methods and image sizes.

 

The image sizes (in terms of Kbytes) are large and I am working on trying the perpetual juggling trick between image size and image quality. Currently I use JPEGs, but if anyone knows of a better way to store images that is small in Kbytes but gives good quality, please let me know. Currently you can only really view this site through the use of a Broadband connection, anything slower causes long loading times for most images. But I am thinking setting up a quicker intro page and using a secondary site which uses a lot less images.

 

I also produce historical CD-ROMs covering both Cambridge & Oxford. I am trying to use the technology I used to create them on this web-site. Unfortunately they make extensive use of VML (Vector Mark-up Language), which although quickens up loading times for images, has the major draw back of only being viewable through Microsoft Internet Explorer v5.0 or newer. If you don’t have MSIE v5.0 or newer please let me know. I can either tell you how to get it or if I have enough interest from non MSIE users I may try to set up a mirror site that doesn’t use VML. For me, the advantage is quick page production, as most pages will be produced automatically. I have uploaded the new pages for Harlequin & Guy Fawkes using this technology. The original pages took many hours to create; the new pages took less than 10 minutes. This means more pages will be put up quickly. A whole play including scanning and reformatting, taking less than 2 hours, it used to take ten and it was quite tedious work.

 

More news in a couple of weeks time.

 

Hugo Brown

3x Great Grandson of JK Green.