As of October/November 2021 I am described as cancer free by my Oncologist, and no longer subject to regular scanning or even regular consultations. As of November 2021, I am about to celebrate my seventh birthday since the diagnosis of terminal cancer (August/September 2015) and I have almost grown used to the fact that my relationship with mortality is the same as anyone else. I think the only difference now is that I have an enhanced appreciation of life, and a greater enjoyment in the beauty of the world, and as a result I have gained from the experience.

During remission, I began to make light-up wooden theatres. As a boy, I spent many hours drawing and painting and cutting-out figures and ‘sets’ for a similar theatre my Dad made for me. I never performed ‘plays’ with it, or anything like that, but I think it may have been what started me on the path to animation. In any case, I returned to toy theatres in my dotage!

The first sets were made of heavy-duty cardstock, and had various backdrops that slid into place at the rear of the theatre.


The stage area was magnetised to allow flat single-sided figures with magnets attached to their bottom edges to stand upright.


Figures and backdrops came as separate sets.


All the sets I made and offered for sale were bought, so I have updated the theatres I make. They are now made from wood, and as the cutting machine I own won’t cut the heavier material, the wooden pieces for the theatre, and the figure shapes etc are cut for me by BLOTZ, a company that make beautiful laser-cut model kits and craft objects, as well as a lovely range of other craft items and games. They also offer a service cutting material to other people’s designs (in the process giving assistance in ensuring those designs best meet their purpose!) They can be found here:

The basic theatre is simpler, and access to the battery holder easier. Each theatre comes with a pair of double-sided backdrop panels, so that with the backdrop design already in place five, different scenes are possible. These panels slide very easily in and out of place.


The new theatres are available in three colours – predominately the colour of the curtains – red, blue, and purple.


Each theatre has the same set of double-sided backdrop panels, although I have also made an alternative set.


The theatres may also be supplied with a set of six wooden performers – acrobats, jugglers, dancers – which are also wooden. They are flat double-sided figurines on round bases, and as they don’t require a magnet-receptive surface to stand upright etc, they can be used independently as little ornaments, toy figures etc.


As well as the figures supplied with a theatre as a set, I have made other figure sets (and a set of other backdrops) and may add to these in time.


Once again, I have made these theatres, theatre sets, and figures available through my Etsy shop.