Polka Theatre turns 40 this year and its birthday gift to audiences is a new building

On February 17, after the final performances of The Wind in the Willows and In the Winter Wood, Polka’s doors will temporarily close to the public until next summer.

The builders will then take over, turning the Polka into a theatre for all the future. This development offers facilities and the UK’s first purpose-built Early Years theatre. This exciting moment in the history of the charity will ensure Polka’s long-term sustainability both artistically and financially.

Before Christmas, Polka was awarded £1.2million from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund.

In the Winter Wood ©The-Other-Richard

This commitment along with funding from Arts Council England and the Merton town hall has provided the finance needed for the project to start in March.

The last step is raising the last £1million of this £7.5million project. Polka needs the help of audiences to create a building for the future and a continuing home for pioneering children’s theatre.

There are many ways to support Polka reach its funding target. Bring your family and friends to see The Wind in the Willows and In the Winter Wood. Sponsor part of the new building or become a Future Polka Family or Founder.

There is also a simple donate link where people can give what they can. Fans can still experience Polka magic while the building is closed. Thanks to funding from a range of supporters including Heritage Lottery Fund, they will be delivering a huge project called Polka40 across Merton during our temporary closure.

Polka40 includes a whole range of projects happening throughout 2019:

  • an exhibition of Polka’s history, premiering at Morden Hall Park and then touring across local libraries
  • a project working with 14 schools and 4 SEN schools to create their own performances inspired by our touring performance
  • a partnership project with Merton Music Foundation to create intergenerational community choirs
  • Plus much more, to be announced later in 2019.

To stay up to the date with the latest news and events and donate visit www.polkatheatre.com

We are looking for volunteers to get involved in all these projects, particularly the heritage project – if you’re interested get in touch via our website at https://polkatheatre.com/jobs/

Main photo: The Wind in the Willows © Craig-Fuller

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