Autumn adventures at Polka theatre

Published June 24, 2010

Polka theatre invites audiences to journey into space, to the South Pole and to a Snow Queen’s palace in its new season of shows.

The autumn line-up at the Wimbledon children’s theatre begins on 1 October with Mission To Mars, a co-production with Unlimited Theatre which is set in 2035. Gail and Stephan have been selected from thousands to be the first human beings sent to Mars. Their four friends and colleagues are following close behind.

Based on the real science of planned Mars missions and written in consultation with experts, Mission To Mars lets audiences experience what it could be like to defy gravity and go further through the solar system than we have ever been before.

For little ones, Polka theatre hosts Travelling Light’s production of Lost And Found from 13 October to 12 February. Based on Oliver Jeffers’s picture book, Lost And Found tells the simple tale of a boy who helps a lost penguin return home to the South Pole.

The production is directed by Sally Cookson, who also directed the hit stage adaptation of Michael Rosen’s We’re Going On A Bear Hunt in the West End last summer.

While Lost And Found is aimed at children aged one to five, Polka theatre also presents a festive treat for older children and their families this winter. The Snow Queen, which runs from 19 November to 5 February, is based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen and tells of two friends, Kai and Gerda, who are inseparable. But one cold night Kai falls under the spell of the evil Snow Queen and is whisked away on her sleigh to the icy palace far away. It is up to Gerda to journey across rivers, forests and snow to save her friend.

Following Polka’s festive fare, the spring 2011 season kicks off with an adaptation of Robert Westall’s acclaimed 1975 novel The Machine Gunners, which runs from 11 February to 9 April 2011.

Set during World War Two, The Machine Gunners centres on young Chas McGill, who has the second best collection of war souvenirs in town but desperately wants it to be the best. One day he stumbles across a shot-down German bomber and snatches the ultimate souvenir to add to his collection, a machine gun.

The new season at Polka theatre is accompanied by a programme of Saturday shows from visiting companies, while each show is accompanied by special workshops which run during the half-term and Christmas holidays.

CB