Toymaker & Son was first presented in 1978 by a group of students
from Chesworth Middle School in Horsham, England, where Colin Harbinson
was the acting headmaster and choreographer of the play.
It was quickly recognized that Colin had found in Toymaker & Son a perfect combination: A story worth presenting in a style that moved audiences from tears, to laughter, to resounding applause. Toymaker & Son went on to receive international acclaim and has been seen by multiples millions in over 60 nations, and on every continent of the world.
From the first performance in Italy with an adult cast in 1979, Toymaker & Son went on to be given wide exposure all over Western Europe. In Greece the Prime Minister watched a special performance, and in Spain Toymaker & Son was sponsored as part of the official festivities in the World Cup Soccer Games.
North America first experienced first experienced Toymaker & Son
at the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, where it was described by
a theatre critic as an excellent performance in modern dance, and
significant for the message it is relaying. Since that time Toymaker
& Son has continued to tour extensively in Canada and the United States
drawing audiences of up to 10,000 people in a single performance.
Spanish speaking audiences have been deeply moved by Toymaker & Son performed live and on national television in Central and South American countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, Colombia, Brazil Honduras and Belize.
In Asia, the unique fusion of dance, drama and mime has captivated the
imagination of many cultures, as troupes have performed in nations including
China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore.
In the Indonesian country Bali, one of the leaders of the Balinese Dance
Theatre, after seeing a performance of Toymaker & Son said, We
have much to learn from Western choreography ... your production has meaning
Nationwide tours of Australia and New Zealand have been enthusiastically
received. Toymaker & Son was chosen by the Entertainment Committee
to perform at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia. The
following year, the Queens representative in New Zealand, the Governor
General, arranged a command performance of Toymaker &
Son on board the M.V. Anastasis in Auckland. This brought together ambassadors
and diplomats from many countries, including Eastern Bloc representatives.
Since the 1984 Olympic Gameswhere it was also the most sought after
production in Los Angeles this production has been performed in
such diverse nations as Yugoslavia and the Pacific Island of Tonga. From
the former Soviet Union, Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean Basin,
stories abound about how Toymaker & Son has touched and changed lives.
If you have a story about a Toymaker & Son performance/tour, or of how the production has impacted your lifeeither as a performer or audience memberplease write to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.