Friends for All at the Polka Theatre

Friends For All comes to the Polka Theatre 20-22nd October 2017 – featuring rapping, dancing and far-out video projections. A story about standing up for what you believe in.

Friends for All by Simon Mole

Friends For All is London-based rapper Simon Mole’s creation. He brings his interactive spoken word performance for families to the Polka Theatre from Friday 20 October – Sunday 22 October.

Friends For All is a story about having the confidence to be yourself and stand up for what you believe in. It features rapping, dancing and far-out video projections for ages 5-11 and their grown-ups.

8 year old Lexi doesn’t make friends as easily as some. If only her school would allow a non-school uniform day then she could be herself and find others like her. Inspired by Grandad’s hippy stories from the swinging 60s, she decides to fight the powers that be, namely her class teacher, Mr Marsh, and the class bully, Suzy.

Poet and rapper Simon Mole performs in this humorous and moving piece, co-created with theatre maker Peader Kirk. The show features Simon Mole’s trademark poetry, rap and storytelling style. There are video projections courtesy of Andrew Crofts, an original sound track composed by Jonny Wharton and lighting design is by Phil Clarke.

Friends for All is one of several productions that form part of Half Moon Presents, the producing arm of Half Moon. Half Moon supports the promotion and development of theatre for young audiences at a national and international level.

Simon Mole says: “I wanted to create a piece of theatre that wasn’t dumbed down for young audiences; something that was exciting and complex enough that they could be an active and creative audience. Friends For All feels like a wide-screen cinematic experience. It features an array of virtual performers and it’s incredible to see how the young people react to them. But there’s also an important message, to empower them to understand that they are able to make change within the world they live.”

Friends For All was originally commissioned by the V&A as part of the Family Art Fun Programme and inspired by their You Say You Want a Revolution exhibition and developed with support from Apples and Snakes, the Albany, University of Bedfordshire and Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre. Arts Council England are funding this production.

All tickets are £13.50 (£10). You can buy at the Box Office or by calling 020 8543 4888. Tickets are also available online at


Grandad, Me and Teddy Too at the Polka Theatre

We’ve just got back from Grandad, Me and Teddy Too at the Polka Theatre, Wimbledon, a lovely new play by Sarah Argent, targeted at 2-5 year olds.

grandad me and teddy too

Grandad, Me and Teddy Too is a wonderful charming play – and is all about the distance a child, Mia, has from her Grandad, and how they connect, both in person and online.

This appealed to me, as H’s grandparents are in York and Australia – we have nobody close by. The internet is our main means of communication to stay in touch; we have regular chats over Skype and Facetime with Shaun’s mum and dad, whereas I tend to talk to my mum over the phone.

Grandad, Me and Teddy Too has just the two characters with a nice simple set on stage, and plenty of dialogue to capture a child’s imagination. Katherine Carlton plays Mia – a girl of approximately four, five or six years old, and Gordon Warnecke plays Grandad.

I liked that Mia had the exact facial expressions that H often pulls – I was giggling away at some of them – it’s an adult observing a child and doing it well. Mia speaks to Grandad every night on the computer, counting down the sleeps until he’ll be visiting her. Grandad lives in Argentina, so he has a bit of a way to travel.

Once he arrives he joins in Mia’s games, but often doesn’t quite play them as she would like, making her a bit cross. Again, I have seen those facial expressions myself, I’d say very accurate! They go for a ride on a magic carpet to the South Pole as well! Unfortunately he can’t stay and soon has to go back home again.

Grandad, Me and Teddy Too is at the Polka Theatre in the smaller Adventure Theatre (capacity 30-50 people), lasts for approximately 40 minutes and runs from the 8th October 2014 until 8th February 2015. This means you have seats around the edge for adults, and children are encouraged to sit on their own in front of the stage.

grandad me and teddy too Frozen ticket

As well as this, children are encouraged to bring a teddy or toy along with them – if you happen to take a picture of your teddy or toy on the way to or from the Polka Theatre, make sure it has the hashtag #BYOBear and that the Polka Theatre are tagged on Twitter (@polkatheatre) or Facebook (/polkatheatre), and each week their favourite photo will win a prize!

We were charmed by Grandad, Me and Teddy Too – and I felt sad we’re so far away from all our relatives. We’re lucky these days computers make it so easy to stay in touch. H loved the play, and when I asked her about her favourite part, she loved the section with the balloons. I would highly recommend going to see this, especially if you have long-distance relatives. It was a really lovely show which resonated with me in so many ways.

We were given complimentary tickets for the purpose of review – all opinions are our own.

Moominsummer Madness at the Polka Theatre

The Polka Theatre in Wimbledon has a wide variety of children’s shows. Moominsummer Madness is on right now, and we got a chance to see it yesterday.

Moominsummer Madness Moominsummer Madness is a play featuring of course The Moomins, based on the book of the same name by Tove Jansson.

Moominvalley is flooded, and the Moomins (Moominmamma, Moominpappa, Snork Maiden and Moomintroll and Little My) escape their flooded house after carefully retrieving their breakfast. They find a floating home which happens to be a theatre. They meet Emma who is in charge – after a few strange happenings. The Moomins are split up and try to make their way back to each other; the story ends with Moominpappa’s play ‘The Lion’s Bride’ being performed and the family are reunited. Misabel and Snufkin also make an appearance as well as a Hemulen Policeman who H got a photo with – the sign says ‘No Smiling’ (a bit blurry I’m afraid – but check out her fab t-shirt!)

Moominsummer Madness no smiling

I found the production wonderful – the four actors/puppeteers who controlled the Moomins did a brilliant job – and the Moomin puppets were amazing. There was a wonderful score with musical instruments accompanying it on stage, with a simple yet stunning set which complemented the story well. It was magical – everything complemented the feel of the Moomins. Truly, if you want an afternoon at the theatre and to come out smiling (and probably singing the songs in your head), choose Moominsummer Madness.

The Polka Theatre have a trailer which shows the wonderful puppets as well as some information about the show and how it was put together.

Moominsummer Madness runs from the 11th June to the 16th August in the Main Theatre and ties in with the Tove 100 celebrations, celebrating the art and life of Moomins creator Tove Jansson.

If you book your Moominsummer Madness tickets in June, the Polka Theatre have a draw to win Moomins goodies.

The running time is approximately 1 hour 35 minutes, and the recommended age is 4-8 years.

We were given tickets to watch Moominsummer Madness and a complimentary programme. All opinions are our own.