Wimbledon's Polka Theatre Is Creating A Magical World At Morden Hall Park


Local children's theatre is celebrating its 40th birthday with series of events

Polka Theatre in Morden Hall Park

To kick off the 40th birthday celebrations of Wimbledon’s Polka Theatre this year, Morden Hall Park and Polka Theatre present workshops for children, a woodland crafts and storytelling picnic, and an interactive exhibition exploring Polka’s heritage and legacy.

Polka’s building on The Broadway is currently closed for its £7.5 million redevelopment, but this summer children and families can enjoy Polka’s making and performing activities out and about in Morden Hall Park. This is the first time the two Merton culture organisations have worked together, bringing a range of new activities for children to the borough this summer. 

The focal point of the programme is the free exhibition that delves into Polka’s archive, giving children and adults a peek into the backstage world of this local theatre. Co-designed with a host of local volunteers, and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the exhibition celebrates 40 years of children’s theatre and performance. 

The exhibition was launched on Monday (July 15) in The Stableyard at Morden Hall Park. The Polka's original founder Richard Gill, who tells the story of the beginning of the Polka as part of the exhibition, was present along with current Artistic Director Peter Glanville and Mayor of Merton Janice Howard.

Heritage Project Manager at Polka, Andreea Minca said: “We are delighted to be working with the National Trust’s Morden Hall Park. The participatory nature of our exhibition, from its co-development together with local volunteers and offering visitors a platform to engage, makes this already very exciting project, even more special.”

There are ticketed and free activities open to different age groups including acting workshops, talks and crafts. Full details of the activities are below.

Meanwhile, the Polka is still fundraising towards its Future Polka project to redevelop its children's theatre on The Broadway in Wimbledon town centre. To find out more and make your pledge, go here.

Listings Information: Information: https://polkatheatre.com/whats-on-2/ 

The Exhibition will be on tour during 2019 – 2020 to these libraries:

Wimbledon Library: 16 August-25 September 2019

Morden Library: 18 October-2 November 2019

Pollards Hill Library: 14 December 2019-11 January 2020

Mitcham Library: 15 February-29 February 2020

Colliers Wood Library: 4 April-25 April 2020.

Exhibition: Celebrating 40 years of Polka. 

Tue 16 Jul - Fri 2 Aug, 10am - 4pm Morden Hall Park

Travel through 40 years of Polka Theatre history in a new, interactive exhibition for families. Children, parents and grandparents have the chance to explore and interact with props, costumes and other gems from Polka’s colourful 40-year collection.

Free. No booking required.

Crazy creatures with Polka! (Arts & Crafts for 4-6yrs)

Sat 20 July 10am-12.30pm Morden Hall Park

Create your own crazy creature!

Explore the incredible wonders of the natural world and let your imagination run wild. Polka experienced workshop leaders will be on hand to give top tips for creating wondrous creatures from a vast array of fun materials. 

Drop-off workshop for 4-6yrs old. £25.00

Call 0344 2491895 to book.

Polka40: In Conversation with… 

Sun 21 Jul, 11am-12.30pm Morden Hall Park

This year Polka Theatre turns 40 years old! To celebrate this impressive milestone, people from Polka’s past and present will come together to share tales (and even some gossip!) from over the years. What famous faces have worked at Polka over the years?

Suitable for all ages. Free.

Assistance dogs are welcome.

Polka’s Box of Characters! (Drama for 7-11yrs) 

Tue 23 Jul, 1.30- 4pm Morden Hall Park

Open the box and pull out a Character, who will it be? Who will you become? A workshop for children interested in acting and wanting to have a go at performing!

Drop-off workshop for 7-11yrs old.

Booking Essential £25.

Polka’s Tall Tales! (Storytelling for 4-6yrs)  

Thur 25 Jul, 1.30-4pm Morden Hall Park

Bring some classic stories from previous Polka shows to life!

Take part in tales of enchanted animals, warriors and heroes, monsters, fairies and much more… Roar like the scariest monster, cheer for the bravest hero and help our expert storyteller take you on an imaginative journey.

Drop-off workshop for 4-6yrs old.

Booking Essential £25.

Polka40: Woodland Crafts & Storytelling Picnic

Sun 28 Jul, 11am-4pm  Morden Hall Park

Join us to make woodland inspired crafts and pack your sandwiches for a storytelling picnic from 12 noon to celebrate Polka’s 40th birthday. Bring your teddies!

Suitable for all ages

Booking not needed.  Free event.

Polka’s Box of Mini Characters (Drama for 4-6yrs) 

Tue 30 Jul, 10am-12.30pm  Morden Hall Park

Open the box and pull out a Character, who will it be? Who will you become?

Drop-off workshop for 4-6yrs old.

Booking Essential £25.

Puppet Craft with Polka! (Puppetry for 7-11yrs) 

Thu 1st Aug, 1.30- 4pm Morden Hall Park

Design and make your own rod puppet! Be inspired by the characters in Polka’s exhibition and learn new skills in this exploration workshop. 

Drop-off workshop for 7-11yrs old.

Booking Essential £25.

Website link for details and booking: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/morden-hall-park/features/polka-theatre-at-morden-hall-park

July 19, 2019