September 25, 2023
The Polka Theatre in Wimbledon has announced details of its programme during winter.
The Snow Queen is to be staged in the main theatre from 11 November to 21 January 2024. Aimed at ages 6-12 it is the first commission of Artistic Director Helen Matravers’ tenure.
The Night Before Christmas returns to Polka after a run in 2021, is recommended for children aged 2-6, and is playing in the Adventure Theatre from 18 November – 14 January.
The Snow Queen, written by Jude Christian and based on the classic story by Hans Christian Andersen, will be directed by Emma Baggott. It features Finlay McGuigan , Joe Boylan, Paula James, Phoebe and Rebecca Wilson.
Gerda is on the magical quest of a lifetime. Her best friend Kai has disappeared with the mysterious Snow Queen, and if Gerda doesn’t rescue him soon, he’ll be trapped in an endless winter forever.
Jude Christian said, “Polka is a magical place for families and communities, and Christmas is the most wondrous time of year to make theatre, so I couldn’t be more excited to be part of The Snow Queen. We want to make a show that’s noisy and caring and masses of fun, inspired by this beautiful story about best friends and the adventure of growing up together.”
The Night Before Christmas is an original play by Hattie Naylor inspired by Clement Clarke Moore's much-loved poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ featuring original music, puppetry and a sprinkling of festive magic. It is directed by Roman Stefanski, designed by Kate Bunce, with music by Julian Butler and lighting by Aaron J Dootson. Victoria Chen and Jack Kelly will perform.
Amber is six and loves reindeer! It's Christmas Eve but Grandad is feeling tired and Amber's favourite snow-globe gets broken. Then her world is turned topsy turvy by a surprise visitor and Amber begins an adventure she will never forget.
Roman Stefanski said, “I can't wait to welcome audiences to Polka's Adventure Theatre and to our revival of the hugely popular The Night Before Christmas. It’s Christmas Eve and the tree has finally been decorated but not much else. Join Amber, Grandad and a delightful reindeer companion as they try to find their Christmas spirit. I hope audiences young and old will enjoy this returning favourite with more than a dash of festive magic!”
Helen Matravers, Artistic Director and Joint CEO, Polka Theatre said, “Polka audiences are in for an incredible, beautiful and hilarious festive treat. The creative teams working with Polka on our two Winter productions are dedicated to creating imaginative, ambitious and playful work for young audiences, that hits every height of the quality of theatre for adults. We are committed to making this brilliant work as accessible as possible with £10 tickets for all performances in the Main Theatre, accessible performances and free tickets to schools who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend, through our Curtain Up! programme.
“As well as magical productions, we have an array of Winter workshops, and you are welcome to enjoy our festively decorated free play spaces, or enjoy a freshly made lunch in our café – Polka is the perfect family outing.”
For families who wish to get a bit more involved in the action, a series of Festive Holiday Workshops are available across the Christmas break too. Music and movement for the little ones in pre-Christmas’ Jingle Bell Rock!, getting crafty with the over 3s in the Build Your Own Snow Globe workshop – then after the big day the bigger children (8-12 years) can participate in a one day Beatbox Masterclass, and the performers in your family can flex their acting muscles exploring making characters and telling stories in Wicked Winter Wonderland.
Tickets are on sale now via polkatheatre.com or call 020 8543 4888. The Main Theatre has a 300-seat capacity, and the Adventure Theatre can seat up to 90 depending on the show format.
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