Three Hundred Games & Pastimes - complete online book

A Book Of Suggestions For Children's Games And Employments.

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Tableaux vivants.
94               What Shall We Do Now?
or soldier's uniform is a great possession, and a real policeman's helmet has made the success of many charades. Most kinds of hat can, however, easily be made on the morning of a party out of brown paper. Epaulettes and cockades are also easily made of the same material. Powder or flour for white hair, some corks for moustaches and beards (you hold them in the candle for a minute and wait till they are cool enough to use), and a packet of safety-pins should be in handy places. Cherry tooth­paste makes serviceable rouge.
"Tableaux Vivants" are a change from acting, but they need, if done at all well, a great deal of preparation and rehearsal, and are therefore perhaps better left to older people. But quickly-arranged groups representing (not too seriously) scenes in English history might be good fun.
The drawback to all charades and dressing up at a party is that they make away with so much valuable time of the players who are out of the room, and unsettle those who are left in. It should be the first duty of every one taking part in acting at parties to decide quickly on the subject or word, and to perform it quickly. Many and many a party has been spoiled by the slow­ness of the actors outside. Historical or family scenes with no dressing up and some action are perhaps better than much dressing up and absolute stillness. In " Canute and the Waves," for example, it is better that the in-coming tide should be repre­sented by a boy rolling slowly over the carpet than that there should be nothing but fixed eyes and stern faces.
Another kind of dumb acting is the waxwork show ; but this, to be successful, requires an older person with plenty of ready fun, to take the part of Mrs. Jarley (in The Old Curiosity Shop) or showman. Without such assistance it is hardly worth while to try them ; and if you have a showman all the particulars of the show will come from him.
Remarks on acting.
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