Home Television Kids TV Diane’s Magic Book/Diane’s Magic Theatre

Diane’s Magic Book/Diane’s Magic Theatre

1 9 6 8 (UK)
1 9 6 9 (UK)

Diane’s Magic Book was produced by Jess Yates for Yorkshire Television in 1968. It became his first success.

Marionettes from the Harlequin Puppet Theatre and members of the Royal School of Ballet helped 12-year old Diane Mewse introduce some of the fairy stories.

Diane Mewse also presented Diane’s Magic Theatre in 1969, which was also produced by Jess Yates. Here, she sat – dressed in her Sunday best – in a theatre box at the City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds during rehearsals of Junior Showtime accompanied by two glove-puppet rabbits called Bubble and Squeak.

During the tea break in rehearsals, Bubble and Squeak took turns whispering their request for a particular performance into Diane’s ear. Powered by theatrical magic, these requests then manifested themselves on to the stage in the form of a procession of marionettes – tightrope walkers, clowns, dancers, chimps, even singing buzzards.

Milly the Poodle sang Mairzy Doats against a Parisienne backdrop, Jonty the Juggler rode onstage on a unicycle before showing off his juggling skills, and the blue-suited Cliff Cat entertained the audience with his rendition of There Was a Young Lady from Ealing.

Diane’s Magic Theatre ran for just one series of 24 episodes. Roger Stevenson provided the marionettes.