Polka Theatre Returns To Live Performance with Red

Retelling of classic fairy tale is a mix of visual and physical storytelling

Zoƫ McWhinney in the titular role
Zoë McWhinney in the titular role

September 27, 2021

Polka Theatre will reopen its doors for live performance with a new promenade adventure called RED.

Directed by Hannah Quigley the production is a mix of visual and physical storytelling, integrating Sign Language into the performance.

Audiences will get a chance to see different parts of the new building for the first time, including Polka’s brand new interactive sensory space, journeying across overgrown forests and perilous bogs on a mission to restore peace to a land overtaken by wolves.

Working with a creative team made up of Deaf, Disabled and non-Disabled creatives. RED will bring together Zoë McWhinney in the titular role, along with Ciaran O’Brien as Alpha Wolf, and Bea Webster as The Woodcutter.

Set in a harrowing world where the wolves have seized control from Queen Sukotai, Alpha Wolf sits on the throne. Only RED can end the conflict and bring harmony to the land however, they are nowhere to be found. Venturing across swamps and exploring the mystical surroundings, this visual and imaginative journey is a quest to locate RED, while avoiding the dangerous sleeping wolves.

RED is based on a story developed by Stephen Collins, Peter Glanville and Hannah Quigley. The production will feature set and costume designs by the award-winning Rachana Jadhav and Associate Designer Ben Glover, with lighting by Offie-nominated Peter Small, and Sound Designer and
Composer Adrienne Quartley. The creative team also includes the experienced actor, visual vernacular and movement director Brian Duffy as Associate Director and BSL Consultant.

Polka’s Artistic Director Peter Glanville said, “Following on from our £8.5m Future Polka capital redevelopment campaign, I am thrilled we are launching our first season at Polka with RED. This exciting production takes the audience on an unforgettable journey across woods, swampland and a palace, and is a wonderful chance for audiences to discover the newly redeveloped Polka, as a small audience moves around different parts of the building. This imaginative visual production is performed using Sign Language as the primary language, and we’re thrilled to be working with this talented creative team.

Director Hannah Quigley added, “We hope that RED will take audiences on a journey - both emotionally and physically. As a disabled, Queer theatre director and filmmaker I have often focused on projects and productions that explore the joy of working with and telling stories celebrating these perspectives. The cast and creative team is simply amazing and working with them is definitely a highlight. To have a show that brings young people and families back into the theatre in these times feels both important and exciting.”

RED runs from Saturday 25 September to Sunday 31st October and Box Office Tickets are available from £15.50, and can be purchased via phone 020 8543 4888 or online with a £1.50 transaction fee applying to phone and online bookings.

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