In the heart of Wimbledon sits a hidden gem for families. Polka Theatre is a dedicated children’s theatre with community and inclusion at its heart and a key mission: to empower children to navigate their world through inspirational theatre and creative experiences.
Polka was one of the first theatres in the UK to offer Relaxed performances. These first ran in 2006, in consultation with Lambeth Autism Society, as ‘Autism-friendly performances’ but in the years following, adapted and evolved to support a range of sensory sensitivities under the new title of ‘Relaxed performances’. During these performances auditorium lights are kept on at a low level, whilst loud sound levels, flashing lights and haze are reduced or removed; chill-out spaces are also provided, audience sizes decreased, and venue and show information packs are provided pre-visit. Polka’s current season includes multiple Relaxed performances as well as British Sign Language Interpreted (BSL), Captioned, and Audio Described performances.
As part of their recent redevelopment, re-opening in 2021, Polka now offers step-free access to all floors, right and left-hand transfer accessible toilets, and clear signage throughout the venue, making continued progress to create a fully accessible and inclusive theatre and community space.
As the festive season approaches, Polka is striving to ensure that as many families as possible can experience the magic of theatre. In the Main Theatre, children aged 6-12 and their families will be transported on a fantastical adventure brought to life with songs, spectacular storytelling and a flurry of mythical magic in The Snow Queen. For younger audiences, the Adventure Theatre will see Christmas Eve come life with original music and skilful puppetry in a returning production of The Night Before Christmas.
For those with an access requirement, Polka has recently updated their ticket offer: a reduced rate ticket – no proof of disability required – a complimentary ticket for a companion or carer, and up to 2 further tickets at concession rate.
Polka Theatre’s Executive Director and Joint CEO, Lynette Shanbury commented:
“Everyone is welcome at Polka, that is at the heart of everything we do, and inclusivity is one of our core Values. In fact, it has always been the case – from installing the first lift in the building in 1979, to being the first theatre to introduce Relaxed Performances back in 2006. We are continually working to improve our offer to reduce and remove the barriers that children, families and schools face might face. We want everyone to know that Polka is for them.”
With shows to thaw the frozen-hearted, workshops to get frosty fingers wiggling, a charming café, and free-to-use play areas with a cosy book corner, dressing up, activity sheets and so much more, Polka is the perfect place to create lasting memories and enjoy the festive activities.
Access ticket rate is available when booking directly through the Box Office. Call 020 8543 4888 or email: email@example.com.
The Snow Queen
Saturday 11 November – Sunday 21 January
Tickets from £10
Recommended for ages 6-12
Relaxed: Saturday 25 November 11am
Captioned: Sunday 26 November 2.30pm
Audio Described: Sunday 10 December 2.30pm (with a Touch Tour at 1.30pm)
BSL Interpreted: Saturday 6 January 11am
The Night Before Christmas
Saturday 18 November – Sunday 14 January
Tickets from £16
Recommended for ages 2-6
BSL Interpreted: Saturday 9 December at 11.45am
Relaxed: Saturday 13 January 2.45pm