Feel good festive show at the Polka Theatre
Jade Lauren appears as Cindy. Picture: Ali Wright
November 8, 2021
A new madcap musical version of the Cinderella story is being staged at the Polka Theatre for the Christmas season.
Running from Friday 12 November 2021 to Sunday 30 January 2022, Cinderella: the Awesome Truth features music and lyrics by the award-winning Felix Hagan.
Inspired by conversations with children and scientists about the classic fairy story and healthy body image, it aims to provide a modern take on a beloved story which is suitable for ages 5 and over.
Co-produced with One Tenth Human and written and directed by Sarah Punshon this adventure to remember has been cocreated with Toni-Dee Paul.
Jade Lauren appears as Cindy, Tiajna Amayo as Ella, James Keningale as Prince Charming and LJ Parkinson as Dandini.
Director and co-creator Sarah Punshon says, “We know children from a really young age are grappling with pressure to look a certain way. So, we talked to our scientific advisors about how to create a joyful Christmas show that would help boost kids’ self-esteem. Our heroes learn that what they
look like on the outside, what kind of dress they wear or what kind of hair they have, is absolutely not the most important thing about them.
“I’m so excited to bring these characters to the main stage in the gorgeous new Polka building. Felix’s songs are incredibly joyful, the perfect way to celebrate Christmas!”
Co-creator Toni-Dee Paul adds, “It’s been so exciting developing our unique take on the classic story. It all started with the team going into schools and asking children what they thought a contemporary Cinderella and Prince might be like - that’s how Ella ended up being into parkour and boxing!
“They told us what was important and exciting about the story, and we ran with their ideas - as well as coming up with some of our own… They also told us what kind of music they love - and so Felix has written these amazing tunes.”
The production will feature set and costume design by Oliver with puppets created by Judith, with lighting & video by Gillian Tan and sound design by Tom Attwood. The creative team also includes movement director Jreena Green and One Tenth Human producer Rafia Hussain.
Tickets are available from £10, and can be purchased via phone 020 8543 4888 or online. A £1.50 transaction fee applies to phone and online bookings
Polka’s Christmas season also features a reimagining of the classic Christmas Eve poem The Night Before Christmas, which draws inspiration from Clement Clarke Moore's much-loved poem.
Written by Olivier Award-nominee Hattie Naylor and directed by Roman Stefanski with designs by Kate Bunce and original music from Julian Butler it is a co-production with Royal & Derngate Northampton.
It will also be the first production in Polka’s new Adventure Theatre.
Director Roman Stefanski says, “The fun magic of making theatre is being able to pick up any topic, story, incident, happening, dream and create a play. The creative team have had an exciting time in being inspired by the well-known Christmas poem and adapting it, making it feel more relevant to the
experiences and values of children today. This warm-hearted and wonderful journey tells of a young girl and a reindeer working out their grumps and differences to form a friendship that reaches the skies, spreading gifts around the world! How? Well that’s for you to come and see and find out.”
The Night Before Christmas runs from Saturday 4 December to Sunday 16 January 2022. Tickets are available from £12, and can be purchased via phone 020 8543 4888 or online. A £1.50 transaction fee applies to phone and online bookings.
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