Crowdfunder – The Nutcracker

Crowdfunder letter

Dear Friend of Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop,

I’m writing to you this month to let you know that from October 1st we have returned to full time opening at our shop in Covent Garden. The shop has been decorated for Christmas early as we missed out last year, having opened a pop-up Christmas shop on the ground floor of the market building due to the problems around social distancing in our first floor shop. We took the space for 16 weeks but in the event could only be open for 4.

Some of the team have now come back to work at 44 The Market and slowly we begin our recovery after the crisis that affected us all.

We’ve had lots of people pop in and say “we just want to say we are glad you are still here, we are not sure how! But we are very happy”

So we wanted to let you know how we did it and our plans for Christmas 2021 and beyond and how you can be involved and become a patron of Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop.

After Peter Baldwin died in 2015, it was necessary for us to develop the business to retain the shop in its natural home London’s Theatreland. Working with artists such as Clive Hicks-Jenkins and Charlotte Cory helped us to create a new range of contemporary toy theatres keeping the tradition alive. Our website was upgraded and we hope you will visit it as many did in lockdown, helping us to keep our head above water during the 3 lockdowns. 2018 was our most successful year as a business and so we went into 2020 in a financially secure position.

I’m personally very proud of our Christmas Shop of 2020 having previously had Christmas pop-ups in Libertys, Fortnums, Heals and the Royal Opera House. Eileen Lam, the photographer and stylist behind the popular instagram site Dolly Treasures sprinkled her magic and created custom made toy wreaths for the window display and at the same time a pop-up Pollocks extravaganza was staged in Shanghai by our friends in Hong Kong and all during the pandemic. I hoped that shopkeeping would be enough to get us through….

I think for lots of businesses around the World, the subsequent lockdowns were the hardest as the problems created by the pandemic (and for us in Britain, the logistic problems of Brexit) started to take their toll. Anyway we have made it and we are grateful to the support we have enjoyed from our customers.

This Christmas we are launching a crowdfunder to raise money to put on a paper production of The Nutcracker based on the designs by John Macfarlane. John is one of Britain’s most distinguished theatre designers, known for his painterly visions for ballet and opera that have been staged at the world’s most magnificent opera houses and theatres. He is a judge of the Linbury Prize for stage design and we are extremely pleased that he has designed an exclusive proscenium for Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop.

page1image51800576 We have four tiers of designs of John Macfarlane’s Nutcracker you can pledge for. We are calling them –

The Gods: A Pop-Up Christmas Card we will send you for Christmas 2021 (£20)

The Circle: A Pop-Up Miniature Theatre with moving characters (£45)

The Stalls: A luxury paper theatre with double sided scenes (£175)

The Royal Box: A handmade replica of John Macfarlane’s toy theatre model box by British paper designers Cutture with only 6 being made (£2500)

Thank-you for taking the time to read to the end of my letter! If you follow us on social media or are on our mailing list then you will be hearing more about our Nutcracker project as well as some exciting new toy theatre launches we hope to be able to reveal and produce over the next 18 months. Please do forward our crowdfunder details to your friends you feel maybe interested.

All the details, information, pictures (and I even had to make a video – thanks to Keith Khan) here!

Wishing you all good things for you and your family this Christmas.


More Videos from our You Tube Channel

A film by Gabriel Boccazzi for Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop featuring the Pollock’s Pop-Up Card

A film by Lorenzo Gabini for Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop featuring Harlequin & Columbine in The Theatre of Wonders