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Polka Theatre Re-opens

Following a major refurbishment, Polka Theatre will begin to re-open from 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 three 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, until 28th August, 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.

For all Polka activities, workshops and shows, visit our What’s On page and filter by ‘kids’.

 

Events

#FromTheFringe

Introducing New Wimbledon Theatre’s very own Fringe festival – #FromTheFringe! With tickets starting from £11.

Throughout June, the Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre will play a host to 17 wildly different and exciting shows, many of which have never been seen before. Having been hand-selected from the very best submissions, these include a range of electrifying theatre-makers, intelligible children’s shows and absolutely hilarious stand-up and sketch comedies.

FOR COMEDY FANS

  • Simon Brodkin: Work in Progress (Wed 8 Jun 2022) SOLD OUT
  • Fraudian Slip (Thu 9 Jun 2022)
    Ever feel like you don’t fit in? That you are the odd one one? Well, you aren’t, we ALL feel that way. Imposter syndrome is real! Join Jal and listen to stories from her authentic fraudulent life. Bristolian stand up Jaleelah Galbraith presents her 3rd full length show as a preview before this year’s Edinburgh Festival.
  • Bad Clowns: Invasion (Fri 10 Jun 2022)
    For many years the Bureau for Alien Defence has kept the world safe from extra-terrestrial threats. B.A.D agents Sam and Christian have been given their latest mission; a mind-controlling alien has infiltrated Earth, and it’s taken over the mind of one of the audience members. Worst of all, the investigation is being monitored by Special Agent J-1, a B.A.D legend. The investigation hits a bump in the road when the agents discover a lethal alien weapon. J-1 is the only human alive who could disarm it. However, once he accidentally wipes his own memory using B.A.D technology, it’s up to agents Sam and Christian to find the alien, and somehow disable this device before it obliterates the entire planet!
  • Dan Antopolski: Telemachus Weeps (Mon 13 Jun 2022)
    A stand-up comedy show like all others but 15-20% less terrible.
  • Matt Hoss: Hossanova (Thu 16 Jun 2022)
    Matt Hoss is an award-winning stand-up comedian, distinguished Twitch streamer, writer for BBC Newcastle and host of the hit podcast Castival. In this special, storytelling stand-up show, hear Matt’s his hilarious struggles with modern morality, lockdown laughs and his irresponsible plans to save the world. The fate of the universe lies in the audience’s hands (but no pressure though).
  • Maureen Younger (Thu 23 Jun 2022)
    In her latest show, Maureen tries to find the funny from her year of hell: the triple whammy of cancer, property developers and housing associations.

FOR THEATRE-LOVERS

  • Foundations (Sun 5 Jun 2022)
    MJ is a human who is sick of moving boxes around all day like a robot. Pins is a robot who doesn’t fit into the underground. When they meet in the space between their worlds, they form a friendship that blurs the boundaries between human and machine. A Pixar movie brought to life on stage using physical theatre and puppetry, Foundations is a whimsical production that tackles what it means to be human in an age of technology. Featuring handmade puppets and an originally composed soundtrack, the show is suitable for audiences aged 9-99.
  • Dog/Actor (Sat 11 Jun 2022)
    Two explosive and comedic short plays written by Steven Berkoff, performed back-to-back by the same one actor. The first play: Dog follows a day in the life of a racist football hooligan and his beloved pitbull terrier, Roy, who changes his life. The second play: Actor is a spoken word monologue that delves into the heart of the acting industry, humorously and poignantly portraying the trying life of a struggling artist. Without the use of any set or props, Dog/Actor presents a masterclass in physical theatre and comedic storytelling, promising a thrilling theatrical experience.
  • Love You and Leave You (dead) (Tue 14 Jun 2022)
    When Cal comes home from the hospital after suffering from a nearly-exploded appendix, Mandy is forced to question the mortality of her girlfriend. She considers the undeniable eventuality that one day, Cal might unwillingly leave Mandy through her own death. With a few weeks bedrest on the cards, babysitting Cal becomes dominated by an internal struggle: Wouldn’t the pain of loss be so much easier to survive if she knew it was coming? If she was prepared for it? In an effort to control the unbearable pain of losing a loved one, Mandy decides to be the one to kickstart the grieving process and instigate the loss herself—by killing her girlfriend Cal. A dark comedy about modern relationships and obsessive love.
  • Impromptu Shakespeare (Fri 17 Jun 2022)
    Buckling on the bard’s britches to improvise the plays he never wrote.Sad that Shakespeare hasn’t written anything new for over 400 years? Well, hold onto your doublets, ruffs and trunk hose. The Bard is back! With story and verse improvised in the moment, enjoy a riotous new Shakespeare play every time – performed by Impromptu Shakespeare’s whip smart cast. Packed with priceless wit, lyrical smarts, romance, and a dash of double-crossing, this leading ensemble do the Bard proud with a brand new one-act hit every time, inspired by audience suggestions. Impromptu Shakespeare have been a smash hit at the Edinburgh Fringe, Bristol Shakespeare Festival, and appeared on BBC Shakespeare Live.
  • Viva!!! (Sat 18 Jun 2022)
    Viva is a story of betrayal between two old friends who forget what’s important in life…. wrestling and tacos. Sometimes when the strongest bonds snap the only way forward is to serve a bowl of cold, hard revenge. It will take more than blood, sweat and ketchup to reunite their time tested friendship otherwise they risk plunging into the darkness of the 9 levels of hell. Full of vibrant Mexican culture, Mariachi, Luchadors, and Day of the Dead offerings, Viva fuses the laughs of a clown show with high octane energy of wrestling delivering extreme stupidity you haven’t experienced before.
  • Bread and Circuses (Sun 19 Jun 2022)
    Ninety minutes of dancing bears, fire eating pygmy goats, juggling manatees and chimps in crinolines. Profugo promise all or none of these and other fabricated guff, in a fast-paced evening of hilarious characters and uproarious sketch comedy.
  • By the Light of La Luna (Tue 21 Jun 2022)
    5 people, each of them adrift in their own lives, awaken in a room on the moon. As they struggle to find the strength to leave, they are aided by a mysterious pale figure who lives in a wardrobe. Aplay about perseverance, By the Light of La Luna blends elements of physical theatre and surrealism in order to tell a heartfelt, funny, and moving tale. An examination of what it means to have courage when everything else feels lost.
  • Shoddy Detective (Wed 22 Jun 2022)
    A bumbling detective is called upon to uncover the mystery of a priceless stolen painting, but when he cannot solve it himself he is forced to enlist the help of an old nemesis. Together, the pair must interrogate the many characterful suspects that reside at the manor, in order to catch the conniving culprit and solve the crime of the century.
  • The Boys (Sat 25 Jun 2022)
    Award-winning actor Will Charlton presents the premiere of his new play in the Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre. Friends. Housemates. Lads. The Boys are just trying to make their way in the world or at the very least – London. With the cost of living only ever increasing, jobs harder to come by, and the price of a mocha in a local West London coffee shop rising to £4.09, three millennials make a desperate attempt to keep their heads afloat with a drastic career change. “We should become escorts.” The Boys is a dark comedy about the lengths young people will go to in order to survive in a merciless economy, and the difference between working to live and living to work.

FOR FAMILIES

  • The Extraordinary Time-Travelling Adventures of Baron Munchausen (Sun 12 Jun 2022)
    Winner of the “Best Children’s Show on the Fringe” at Manchester last year, this exciting new concept show features award-winning comedians and improvisers who are challenged by one another to invent outrageously exaggerated swashbuckling stories based on the The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Discover how the Baron invented Morris dancing, how his actions saved the Isle of Skye from sinking beneath the waves, why every fourth child in Bruges is named after him and other fantastically delightful stories. This show will delight adults and children with its wonderful joie de vivre and other pretentious words!
  • Around the World with Nellie Bly (Sun 26 Jun 2022)
    The year is 1889 and intrepid journalist Nellie Bly is the toast of New York. She has already exposed cheating politicians, broken up an evil smuggling ring, and put herself in personal danger to catch the villain assaulting people in Central Park, but ahead of her lies her greatest adventure yet! Join Nellie as she travels around the world racing against Jules Verne’s famous fictional hero, Phileas Fogg. This one-woman show uses Bly’s own account to bring to life this incredible, little-known story of a pioneering woman, that aims to inspire young audiences and prove that adventure stories aren’t just for boys.

 

BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE