Mechanical Theater entertains children

Mechanical Theater entertains children

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Mechanical Theater entertains children

The machines come to life when visitors press a button and activate the mechanisms. Photo by Murat Pulat

A unique exhibition of 40 performing machines from the U.K. Cabaret Mechanical Theatre is on display at Istanbul’s Landora Theme Park in ORA and will run for four months.

The machines, also called automata or mechanical toys, come to life when visitors press a button and activate the mechanisms. The gears and cogs power up funny, strange and unexpected miniature performances: A man sits in a bath full of spaghetti with sauces flowing from the taps. A cat drinks milk then falls over. The ancient Egyptian god Anubis sits in a cafe swatting a fly. A school of flying fish change direction in perfect synchronicity. A ball magically appears and disappears on a Geisha girl.

The machines entice the audience to get close to the action and laugh at their antics.

Cabaret Mechanical Theatre was started in 1979 by Sue Jackson at a local general craft shop in Falmouth, a small town in a scenic part of Britain popular with tourists and artists. The shop started to specialize in handmade mechanical toys with the help of other artists in the region. The machines have toured around the world with exhibitions everywhere from Australia, Thailand and South Korea to Japan and the U.S.

Art and technology

The mechanical toys integrate art and technology and can be used as an innovative way to inspire and teach engineering and mechanical movement, lending the exhibition an educational aspect. Cabaret Mechanical Theatre pioneered this creative use of technology and has developed education projects in schools, museums and science centers.

Many of the original machines are now are part of the exhibition at Landora, where they sleepily await visitors to press their buttons and trigger them into action.

The exhibition is located in Altıntepsi Mah., Çiftlik Cad. No:10, Bayrampaşa.