Why did we decide to launch the Harlequinade Club and what is it?
It’s a club for Pollocks aficionados and you will find out about here and on our social media and in our shop but not on a mailing list, it is here when you want to join in. But it doesn’t really exist, kind of like the ‘cloud’ or Charlotte Cory’s Grand Visitoria. It is for those of us who find comfort in crumbling sheets of old paper, bright tinsel glittery scraps, ephemera advertising shows and costumes from long ago. So for those people – we have a quarterly folder that will include artists theatres or paper models, limited edition cards, scarps and toy theatre, ‘Pollockry’ as we call it.
We wanted to make a badge like the one some of us had as children (I proudly wore an enamel pin from the Puffin club but secretly coveted a Gnasher badge from the Beano but never got one. Later, it was a collection of precious Duran Duran badges) Anyway, it hasn’t happened yet but the main thing is that you become a member in spirit and the design by Tommy Brentnall is the picture on this post.
What we have done is released our podcast “Holding Up The Queue” and we are now onto Episode 3 with the artist behind our Hansel and Gretel Theatre Clive Hicks-Jenkins who has gone onto work on his fairytale opus with the now poet laureate Simon Armitage, so we like to think of ourselves as trend pioneers in an old fashioned disguise.
The limited edition folder to accompany ‘The Forest to the Fantastical’ will contain a little folk art toy theatre with tin bird by Clive Hicks-Jenkins and will be released in June, please join us on our social media channels instagram, facebook and twitter to find out when. And in the shop we have a magnificent small display of artists toys, collectors toys and hand carved wooden toys from around the world, all inspired by Folk Toys that are discussed in the podcast.
If you have visited the shop and met Simon, our charismatic manager (sic. Country Life Magazine, HRH Prince Charles Guest Edited Issue) then you will know he is a storyteller of the highest order – he thought up the name “Holding Up The Queue” and yes he sometimes does with his anecdotes – apologies to those who might have been stuck in a queue at Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop, Covent Garden.
“Simon, the mellifluous and very knowledgeable narrator” (Jeffrey Kindley, Member no.27) is the host of ‘Holding up the Queue’ as well as the artist behind our shadow boxes and the maitre d of Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop or as he puts it so eloquently in episode 1 ‘the gatekeeper between you and these magical toy theatres”. Please do listen to our podcasts and leave us reviews. Yes! they help us record more and we have sooooo many stories to tell and guests to interview.
Purchasing the Harlequinade Club folder of limited edition items helps us fund the podcast and keep alive these dusty pieces of paper. We really are a living, working shop with a broad base of customers of all ages and we embrace all these creative ideas from storytellers whether you want to tell them through pictures or words. If you would like to submit an idea for our ‘Stories’ blog then do get in touch via our website.