Public Transport: Nearest Tube/Rail Station
At Polka, there’s space to play, to laugh, to discover, to create; with something for all ages from toddlers to teenagers. It’s a magical place where you can steal a rare moment to share with your children and where no two visits are the same. You’ll soon see why Polka is where theatre begins!
Polka is first and foremost a local theatre, loved by the people of Wimbledon and the wider London community, but enjoys an international reputation, known the world over as a pioneer of theatre for children, consistently setting the standard and raising audience’s expectations.
When you come and see a show at Polka you won’t just enjoy the theatre. Polka’s welcoming building is a resource for local people with its friendly café, worry-free foyer with big toys and a book corner, a charming garden and a playground complete with a Wendy House and giant cat! It is playful, fun and interactive - Polka stimulates even the biggest child’s imagination.
The Adventure Theatre welcomes babies and toddlers to all events – there is no minimum age restriction in this performance space, and babies under 12 months go free. Age ranges are strict in the Main Theatre and change depending on the show but there are specified Watch With Baby performances for most productions. These performances invite the entire family to see a show together.
Polka Theatre is one of the few venues in the UK which is dedicated to producing and presenting work for young audiences. Since the doors opened in 1979, this unique venue has been entertaining children with resonant, engaging and exciting theatre.
Over 100,000 children a year come to Polka and are inspired, stimulated and engaged by theatre, often for the first time. Polka strives to stir the emotions, spark the imagination and, most of all, entertain. Its two theatre spaces, the Main Theatre and the Adventure Theatre are designed especially for children so that their first taste of theatre is welcoming and relevant.
Theatre for the very young is a vital part of Polka’s artistic programming. Over the past few years Polka has developed its Early Years work and established itself as a centre for innovation in this field. Children as young as 9 months and their families are brought into a colourful and stimulating environment where simple stories are told in a sensory and visual way. Early Years shows also visit Polka from across Europe encouraging the telling of a diverse range of stories in a varied and exciting way.
Creative programming keeps Polka’s work fresh and relevant. Audiences can expect imaginative new writers, dynamic performers, inventive adaptations of popular stories and resonant subjects. Everything we do is focused on providing children with thrilling world-class theatre.
At the heart of Polka’s work is a programme of learning that encourages children to explore and develop creatively. Every Polka show is supported by a learning programme. Schools visiting the theatre can benefit from online free resource packs and rehearsal diaries, show-related workshops and after-show talks. Polka embraces family learning and encourages it through exciting family days, after-show events and show-related activities packs. It also runs a regular programme of out-of-school clubs and summer schools giving children the freedom to explore their creativity and learn a wide-range of performance skills from storytelling to puppetry.