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Help Your Local Arts

Covid-19 and lockdown has had a significant impact on businesses, especially those within the creative industries, and may continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Art organisations are particularly struggling as there is limited funding sources available for them to fall back on. 

Keeping art and culture alive, is more important now than ever before, as it often aspects of these industries which help us connect with one another, lift our spirits, give us hope, celebrate creativity and diversity, and lots more.

Please consider donating to support our local arts and cultural organisations. If you can’t donate, then there are many other ways in which you can show your support including via volunteering or fundraising.

Wimbledon BookFest

Wimbledon BookFest is not-for-profit arts and education charity and depends on its supporters. Like many other arts organisations and festivals we are now deeply concerned about our future. Much of the arts industry is falling through the gaps on Government support and so they need your help. We need to raise £25k from our supporters to keep going beyond Covid-19. Donate here to help secure the future of Wimbledon Bookfest.

Polka Theatre

Polka Theatre are a registered charity who provide creative activities and support for families, teachers and vulnerable children. Now more than ever children need access to creative experiences which help them to combat loneliness, and navigate their ever changing world. Covid-19 has dealt Polka a significant blow. They need your help to continue supporting children, their teachers and families at a time when they need it most. Visit their Just Giving page here to support.

 

 

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

What to See in Wimbledon

 

Set your sights on something new

 

The New Year signals new beginnings – a time to reflect, set goals and explore something different. From live music to theatre performances, comedy and community events, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Wimbledon Town Centre.

Look for a superb line-up of performances this season at the New Wimbledon Theatre, including the show-stopping musical On Your Feet!, Matthew Bourne’s legendary film adaptation of ‘The Red Shoes’ and Adam Kay’s ‘This is Going to Hurt’.  If it’s live music or comedy you’re after, head to the Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre for Jazz in a Broad Way or Comedy Round Mine.

The Polka Theatre is set to re-open late 2020 and is still running activities in Wimbledon Library and the Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre.

 

See What’s On in Wimbledon

 

Sparrow    

 

Looking for something a little more low-key? Take a wander through Wimbledon to view the new ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ art collaboration with artist Louis Masai, on Alwyne Road. This street art aims to raise awareness of the decline of British birds in London, particularly the House Sparrow, renowned for its birdsong and seen as a vital part of urban life. Watch the public reaction to the art.

Or go further afield and head out for a stroll to visit the landmarks of Secret Wimbledon or the Rainbow Crossing on The Broadway, next to New Wimbledon Theatre and CMYK bar, which celebrates the town’s inclusivity.