The hippo-like inhabitants of Moominvalley will take over Polka Theatre later this year when Moominsummer Madness plays as part of the venue’s spring/summer season.
Red Riding Hood, a gripping new adventure by Kevin Dyer, the return of 2010’s Skitterbang Island and two Shakespearean adaptations for young audiences will also feature in the 2014 programme, which begins on 20 February.
The red-cloaked wood wanderer will open the season from 20 February to 8 March, when Olivier Award-winning writer Mike Kenny presents his new adaptation of the classic fairytale for ages four to seven.
Slightly older theatregoers can enjoy a heroic quest courtesy of The Monster Under The Bed’s Dyer from 4 April to 24 May, when Greek myth meets the modern day in Minotaur, the tale of a young boy determined to save his father from a faraway war for eight to 14-year-olds.
Then come the Moomins. A co-production with Royal & Derngate, Northampton, Moominsummer Madness, Phil Porter’s adaptation of Tove Jansson’s much-loved tales, will bring puppetry, laughter and music to Polka from 11 June to 16 August. The show’s summer stint will allow children aged between four and eight to discover what happens when Moominvalley is struck by a great flood and its residents find a new home in the form of a floating theatre.
Another co-production will follow with Skitterbang Island, Polka and Little Angel Theatre’s critically acclaimed show, which returns to the venue from 15 June to 16 August. Suitable for ages three to six, the heart-warming puppet opera tells the story of a brave little girl in the north of the world who comes into contact with a curious creature known as the Skitterbang.
From Skitterbangs to Shakespeare, acclaimed theatremaker Tim Crouch will bring versions of two of the Bard’s popular plays to Polka during the May half-term. I, Peaseblossom, a fresh take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and I, Caliban, Crouch’s interpretation of The Tempest’s deformed creature, are suitable for children aged eight and older.
The eclectic range of shows joins the previously announced production of Michael Ende’s musical fantasy adventure Momo, which brings its unique tale of time thieves to the Wimbledon venue from 12 to 22 March prior to additional runs at Stratford Circus and Greenwich Theatre.
Budding young theatre lovers wanting to get more involved at Polka in 2014 can also take part in a variety of holiday workshops suitable for those aged between three and 13. Visit Polka’s website for more information.