Polka Theatre in Wimbledon has announced a reopening season of new productions.
The UK’s first theatre designed specifically for 0-12 year olds, is to reopen its doors in August following a two-and-a-half-year closure for redevelopment.
The revitalised venue features the flexible Adventure Theatre, which is the first purpose-built UK theatre for under 6s, and the fully refurbished Main Theatre, together with improved facilities and accessibility for families.
Polka Theatre will reopen to the public from Monday, 16 August and offer a range of free activities for young children, including hands-on creativity in the newly planted Wimbledon Foundation Garden and the multi-sensory space, as well as lively and interactive story sessions.
Three shows will follow over the coming months with RED, a visual and physical storytelling promenade adventure, performed with British Sign Language starting things off in September.
2021 will also see two new winter productions with the world premiere of madcap musical adventure, Cinderella: the AWESOME truth, and a fantastical reimagining of the classic Christmas Eve poem The Night Before Christmas.
Find out more below!
Saturday, 25 September – Sunday, 31 October 2021
RED is a visual and physical storytelling promenade adventure, performed with British Sign Language. Directed by Hannah Quigley (Marvin’s Binoculars, Schools Tour/Unicorn Theatre) with set and costume designs by the award-winning Rachana Jadhav (Claire Cunningham’s Menage a Trois) and Associate Designer Ben Glover (Medea, Cockpit Theatre), audiences will journey around the new building, across forests and bogs, on a mission to restore peace to a land overtaken by wolves.
Cinderella: the AWESOME truth
Friday, 12 November 2021 – Sunday, 30 January 2022
Created in collaboration with children and scientists, Cinderella: the AWESOME truth celebrates the power of friendship and self-worth. Co-produced with One Tenth Human (Arthur, Edinburgh Fringe First winner), written and directed by Sarah Punshon (The Box of Photographs, Polka Theatre) with music and lyrics by the award-winning Felix Hagan (Operation Mincemeat, New Diorama Theatre), and co created with Toni-Dee Paul (Artist Associate, Selina Thompson Ltd), it promises to be a refreshingly modern take on a beloved story.
The Night Before Christmas
Saturday, 4 December 2021 – Sunday, 16 January 2022
Drawing inspiration from Clement Clarke Moore’s much-loved poem, The Night Before Christmas by Olivier Award-nominee Hattie Naylor (Ivan and the Dogs) is a festive-fuelled adaptation, bringing the joy of Christmas Eve to life. Directed by Roman Stefanski (Sarah and Duck, UK and International tours), with designs by Kate Bunce (The Smartest Giant in Town, Little Angel Theatre) and original music from Julian Butler (The Snow Queen, Polka), this co-production with Northampton’s Royal & Derngate theatre is the perfect sprinkling of seasonal magic packed full of surprises. It will be first production in Polka’s new Adventure Theatre.
For tickets and more information visit polkatheatre.com
Polka’s Artistic Director Peter Glanville said: “The past 18 months have been particularly challenging for children and their families, so we are delighted to be able to reopen Polka, not only with a beautifully redeveloped building, but with a season of new productions designed to create memorable and inspirational experiences.”