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Polka Theatre Re-opens

Following a major refurbishment, Polka Theatre will re-open on 16th August with a host of free activities for everyone.

 

Polka Theatre, the UK’s first theatre designed specifically for 0-12 year olds, is re-opening its doors with an exciting season of new productions and free activities for the whole family this August. Following its two-and-a-half-year closure, Polka will once again be bringing world class family theatre and creative learning activities to London.

The new state-of-the-art and eco-friendly building now houses two auditoriums: the flexible Adventure Theatre, which is the first purpose-built UK theatre for under 6s, and the fully refurbished Main Theatre, with new seating and decoration. The completely revitalised venue will provide unrivalled facilities for families and schools, including:

  • An indoor play space in the new Y C Chan Play Den
  • A sensory garden
  • A playground with a bespoke treehouse climbing frame
  • A large and airy café
  • A dedicated rehearsal and community space called The Nest
  • A purpose-built, interactive sensory suite designed for use by children with sensory and special educational needs, installed in the new Clore Learning Studio.
  • Improved accessibility has also been greatly, including level access to the stage for performers and children for the first time.

To kick off Polka’s opening season, the theatre have unveiled 3 brilliant productions that will be performed in the new building from 25 September.

  • RED
    An exciting visual and physical storytelling production with British Sign Language. Journey through forests and swamplands as you help search for RED and missing Queen Sukotai. But watch out for those sleeping wolves!

    Running Sat 25 Sep – Sun 31 Oct, perfect for ages 6+.
  • Cinderella: the AWESOME truth
    Think you know the story of Cinderella? Think again. Cindy and Ella are the REAL ugly sisters and they couldn’t be more different. When they meet a fairy godmother who’s not what she seems it’s up to Ella to save her sister before the clock strikes 12. Join us for a magical topsy-turvy adventure, we’re going to have a ball!
    Running Fri 12 Nov – Sun 30 Jan, for ages 5+
  • The Night before Christmas
    Bringing Christmas Eve to life in this festive production with original music, puppets and Polka magic. Meet 6 year old Amber (who really loves reindeers), her grumpy grandad and a surprise visitor who turns Amber’s world topsy-turvy.
    Running Sat 4 Dec – Sun 16 Jan, perfect for children aged 3 – 7.

In the meantime, from 29th July, the Polka team are setting up shop in Centre Court Shopping Centre with a new pop-up theatre space. Maanika and The Wolf is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, perfect for 3-6 year olds. The pop-up production blends the past and the present, the real and the imagined, as a grandmother returns to her childhood bedroom recalling stories from when she was a young girl. Talking to her granddaughter over Zoom, she brings her Indian dressing-up box back to life and re-enacts her own version of Little Red Riding Hood. But why is there another wolf on the phone and why does her granddaughter Ruby keep trying to change the story?

Polka Theatre will reopen to the public from Monday 16th 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. It will also host Polka’s Freefalling group, made up of children who face challenging circumstances at home or at school, a Youth Theatre summer school, and research and development sessions with Polka artists. Continuing to pioneer children’s theatre and creative learning in the UK, Polka aims to use their new building to continue to inspire young audiences, school groups and families in and around the local community and beyond.

To find out more, visit the Polka Theatre website here.

 

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.

Keep Kids Busy Throughout Half Term

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

 

Polka Half Term Workshops

Polka Theatre at the New Wimbledon Studio

(Ages 6-12)

This Half Term the Polka Theatre takes over the New Wimbledon Studio to deliver an awesome programme of workshops.

 

art-K Holiday Workshop

art-K Holiday Workshop

(Ages 6-16)

Explore projects working with paper sculpture, clay, design, mixed media, watercolour and acrylics. Each project is individual and at the end of the session they’ll go home with a finished piece of artwork.

 

Kids'n'Sushi

Kids’n’Sushi Workshop

(Ages 6-12)

The kids are greeted into the Sticks’n’Sushi world and get a taster of making their own sushi rolls and nigiri, all followed by taking home some of their hand made treats and a little goody bag.

 

At the end of the day head to Bill’s Restaurant to enjoy their delicious new Autumn Menu whilst the kids enter a ‘design your own milkshake or smoothie colouring competition’.