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Michael McIntyre helps to raise over £30k for Polka Theatre

Michael McIntyre charms 600 Polka Theatre supporters with new material, helping to raise over £30k for Polka Theatre’s redevelopment.

Polka Patron and acclaimed comedian Omid Djalili presented a stellar line-up at the ‘Big Charity Comedy Night’, a fundraising event including Michael McIntyre, Dominic Holland, Tez Ilyas, Holly Morgan and Emma Sidi.

In the stunning Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre, audiences spent the evening hooting with laughter to Omid Djalili’s wild stories, hearing Dominic Holland’s pride in his ‘favourite’ Spiderman son and Holly Morgan (and her husband’s) married feminist double act with musical impressions from the world’s divas.

Polka Patron Omid Djalili MC’d the event, bringing on the evening’s headliner Michael McIntyre, who said: “It’s been brilliant supporting Polka. Good luck with the redevelopment! The audience has been fantastic and I’m glad I could help raise a significant sum for Polka.”

Peter Glanville, Polka’s Artistic Director reflected: “We have raised over £7 million to create a wonderland for children and families in the heart of Wimbledon and Merton. We are currently fundraising for the final £400k we need, so events like these are really helping us move forward with our target. Thank you to everyone for coming to the show and our amazing Patron Omid Djalili for making the Big Charity Comedy Night possible.”

The funds raised from this special, one-off comedy night were in aid of Polka’s redevelopment appeal. New planned features of the Polka Theatre will include the Adventure Theatre for 0-5’s, a free-to-all playground and interactive indoor display by set designer Laura McEwen.

 

 

About Future Polka

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, Polka is the UK’s leading theatre for children up to the age of 12. The £7.5m redevelopment will be the first since the charity opened its doors back in 1979 and will ensure Polka remains at the forefront of children’s theatre for future generations, providing innovative, challenging and thought-provoking work for an increasingly culturally diverse young audience. The development includes a new Adventure Theatre specially designed for young children up to age 5, a new rehearsal and development studio, and a creative learning studio designed with particular reference to children with sensory needs, as well as improved access facilities.

 

Further information on Polka

Polka is one of the few theatres in the UK dedicated exclusively to children. Based in Wimbledon since 1979, Polka creates world-class theatre to entertain and inspire young audiences. Over 90,000 children visit Polka every year to experience engaging, fun and exciting theatre, often for the first time. We strive to spark the imagination, stir the emotions and fuel a sense of discovery in all children. Learning and participation is at the heart of Polka’s work, encouraging children to explore and develop creatively. We offer opportunities for all children, regardless of age, ability, culture or background, working in close partnership with schools, libraries, children’s centres, community associations and a range of other community organisations.

Polka is first and foremost a local theatre, loved by the people of Merton, South London and the wider community, but enjoys an international reputation, known throughout the world as a pioneer of theatre for children, consistently setting the standard and raising audience’s expectations.

 

Many Wimbledon-based businesses have also supported this redevelopment, yet there is still 400k needed to complete the works. Find out more and donate here.

 

Polka Theatre will be re-opening at the end of Summer 2020. For further information visit the Polka website.

 

*Photo Credit : Oscar May

Main Image (from left to right) : Peter Glanville, Michael McIntyre and Omid Djalili

Middle Image: Omar Djalili

Bottom Image (left to right) : Lynette Shanbury Polka joint CEO, Holly Morgan’s Husband, Tez Ilyas, Holly Morgan, Omid Djalili, Dominic Holland and Peter Glanville Polka CEO

February 2020 Half Term Events

Looking for something to do with the kids this Half Term? Wimbledon is filled with workshops and activities that are sure to delight children of all ages!

 

Polka Theatre 

Despite being closed for renovation, Polka Theatre are hosting a great range of interactive activities to spark the curiosity in your little ones this half-term. All events below will be held at New Wimbledon Theatre.

  • PROPerty of Polka Drama Workshop: Tuesday 18 February, 10.30am – 3.30pm
    Delve into the box of Polka props to see what you can find… a mask, puppet, hat, a ship in a bottle and so much more! A creative acting workshop for budding actors to develop short scenes and then show these off to family and friends at the end of the day.
  • Sing a song with Polka: Wednesday 19 February, 10.30am – 3.30pm
    Join this all-singing, all-dancing, all-acting Musical Theatre workshop! Bring some of our favourite Polka songs to life from a number of our popular shows including; Chocolate Cake, The Everywhere Bear and The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me. Share what has been created with family and friends at the end of the day.
  • Polka’s Treasure Chest of Stories Workshop: Thursday 20 February, various times available.
    Create a brand new ‘Once Upon A Time…’ adventure together with our storyteller, who will use these four magical words to help take you on a journey to the farthest reaches of your imagination. Bring in your treasured toy and go on a magical story adventure. Where will we go? What will we see? Who will we be?!

 

Wimbledon Library 

  • Storytime: Monday 17 February and Thursday 20 February, 11am – 11.30am, and Tuesday 18 February, 2.15pm – 2.45pm.
    Listen to your favourite stories in this exciting fun-filled half hour.
  • Little Folk with Albo: Friday 21 February, 11.15am – 11.45am
    Sing-along to nursery rhymes and folk songs, for children.
  • Free Children’s Film Screening: Monday 17 February, 14:00 – 16:00
    A young boy teams up with his new baby brother to take down an evil businessman. 
  • Fun With Phonics: Wednesday 19 February, 2pm-3pm
    Helping you sound out words accurately so you can become fearless learners of the future!
  • First Aid Training For Children: Wednesday 19 February, 4pm-6pm
    Run by British Red Cross
  • Book Launch – Max and Xam by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar: Saturday 22 February, 3pm-5pm
    With reading, signing and crafts.

    Or simply take a break from the half-term madness and set your children a challenge – ‘How many animals can you find?’
    Wimbledon Library now features a great new children’s display with a unique theme, sensory equipment and books for children with special educational needs & disabilities (SEND).

 

The Entertainer

  • Various demonstrations including children’s favourites Bukugan and Power Pux, and a Lego Make and Take.
  • Great 44 Cats, PJ Mask and DC Superhero competitions with fantastic prizes to be won, including family trips to Legoland and more!
    All between 10am – 4pm, Monday – Friday.

(Check The Entertainer page for further details)

 

Odeon

  • Share a great viewing experience with your children this half-term and let their imaginations run wild with Odeon’s selection of children’s movies featuring everything from fairytale fantasies to animated favourites. Visit their website to check up-to-date listings of great family friendly films that will turn any frown upside down.

 

Centre Court Shopping

 

  • Pop-Up Planetarium: Running between 11am – 4pm, daily from 15th – 21st February.
    Explore the night sky in Centre Court’s Shopping ‘To the Stars and Back’ pop-up planetarium this half-term. Includes a 20-minute show inside the pop-up planetarium with dress-up suits and space food available too!  Book your place under the stars by visiting centrecourtshopping.com.

 

Set Your Sights On Something New In Wimbledon

 

 

Please see venue websites for details of age ranges for events and associated costs.