Sunday, January 19, 2014

Handa's Surprise. The Little Angel Theatre

18-23 February 2014

The Little Angel Theatre's production of Handa's Surprise for 2-6 year olds will be on at JW3 in NW London.

Handa takes a basket of fruit to her friend Akeyo. But on her way through the Kenyan savannah, cheeky animals help themselves to the fruit! What will be left in the basket when Handa arrives?

Puppets, live action and song create an intimate and magical experience.

Tickets are £6, or £3 concessions.

Details on JW3's website.  See link above.  Phone no. 0207 433 8988

Thursday, January 16, 2014

COSTA Children's Book Award Winner 2013



Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse
by Chris Riddell

Macmillan Children’s Books

About the book:

Meet Ada Goth. She lives in Ghastly-Gorm Hall with her father, Lord Goth, lots of servants and at least half a dozen ghosts, but she hasn’t got any friends to explore her enormous, creepy house with. Then, one night, everything changes when Ada meets a ghostly mouse called Ishmael. Together they set out to solve the mystery of the strange happenings at Ghastly-Gorm Hall, and get a lot more than they bargained for....


About the author:

Chris Riddell is an award-winning author and illustrator. He’s illustrated many picture books and was awarded the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal in 2002 for Pirate Diary and also in 2004 for Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver.

Chris has won five NestlĂ© awards including a Silver Award in the five and under category of the Nestle Children’s Book Prize and a Gold Award in the 6-8 category of the same prize.

His picture books include The Emperor of Absurdia, Wendel’s Workshop and a much-loved graphic novel series featuring Ottoline. He collaborates with Paul Stewart

on three series of books for the YA market (Edge Chronicles, The Immortals and Wyrmweald); and, for younger children, his Fergus Crane adventure series, again written by Paul Stewart, has achieved critical success, winning the Smarties Gold Award.

Chris and Paul are also the creators of Muddle Earth and Muddle Earth Too, which have been adapted for a major animated series on CBBC.

Chris is also a renowned political cartoonist whose work appears regularly in The Observer, The Literary Review and The New Statesman. One of his claims to fame is that he was the first cartoonist to depict William Hague in shorts, an illustration that William Hague subsequently bought!

Chris Riddell lives in Brighton with his wife and has three grown-up children.

What the judges said:

“An instant classic for children of all ages.”

Polka Theatre

Spring and Summer

at Polka Theatre


Polka Theatre announces their 2014 spring and summer season of shows.

20 Feb – 8 Mar

Engine House and Lakeside present

Red Riding Hood

By Mike Kenney

A fantastical fairytale adapted by Mike Kenny. Once upon a time there was a young girl who went to spend the night at Grandma’s house… and her little brother came too! She wanted to go to sleep but he was having none of it. Grandma’s attic is far too exciting for sleeping! Following a sell-out run in 2012 this delightful adaptation of the children’s classic by the Olivier Award-winning Mike Kenny returns to Polka, directed by Matt Aston with songs by Julian Butler.

All Ages Welcome performances available (for children under the age of 9)

For ages 4 – 7 years

Tickets £9 - £12.50 (plus £1.50 handling charge per transaction)

Main Theatre

Running time 50 minutes, no interval

Usually two performances daily Tuesday – Friday with two performances on a Saturday. Please check our website or call Box Office on 020 8543 4888 for further details.

12 – 22 Mar

Filament Theatre and Greenwich Theatre present


A breathtaking musical fantasy based on the novel by Michael Ende, author of The Neverending Story. In a town not so far away, a friendly orphaned girl called Momo has a mysterious enemy to fight. Creeping through the alleys are the sinister Men in Grey, intent on stealing as much time as they can. With the help of Professor Hora and his clairvoyant tortoise, Momo must save her friends before the world she knows is lost forever. Momo’s inspirational story comes to life with dazzling vocals, beautiful original songs, puppetry and storytelling.

All Ages Welcome performance (for children under the age of 7): Sat 22 Mar 11am

For ages 7+

Tickets £9 - £12.50 (plus £1.50 handling charge per transaction)

Main Theatre

Running time 2 hours approx. including interval

Usually two performances daily Tuesday – Saturday. Please check our website or call Box

Office on 020 8543 4888 for further details.

4 Apr – 24 May

Polka Theatre and Clwyd Theatr Cymru Theatre for Young People present


By Kevin Dyer

Myth meets modern day in a boy’s heroic quest to save his dad. Freddie receives a mysterious text message from his dad, a soldier fighting in a faraway war. He is in trouble and only his son can help.

Transported to the twisting, turning labyrinth of ancient Minos, Freddie must travel through time to fulfil his destiny. Can he slay the half-bull, half-man Minotaur and rescue his father? The award winning writer of The Monster under the Bed fuses a modern-day war story with Greek mythology to create a gripping high-stakes adventure.

A co-world premiere by Polka Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru Theatre for Young People (Wales) and Young People’s Theatre (Toronto, Canada)

£9 Saver Shows: Fri 4 Apr 7pm, Sat 5 Apr 2pm

After-show Talk: Sat 19 Apr 2pm

Integrated Sign Language Performance: Sat 10 May 2pm (Signed by Russell Aldersson and Jacqui Beckford)

Audio Described Performance: Sat 17 May 2pm

For ages 8 - 14 years

Tickets £9 - £13.50 (plus £1.50 handling charge per transaction)

Main Theatre

Running time 1 hour 40 minutes approx. including interval

Usually one performance daily Tuesday – Saturday. Please check our website or call Box

Office on 020 8543 4888 for further details.

11 June – 16 August

Polka Theatre and Royal & Derngate, Northampton in association with Little Angel Theatre present

Moominsummer Madness

By Tove Jansson | Translated by Thomas Warburton | Adapted by Phil Porter | Directed by Peter Glanville and Dani Parr

Meet the Moomins on a summer adventure. Breathtaking puppetry, live music and humour bring Tove Jansson’s much-loved Moomins to life on stage. When a huge flood sweeps through Moominvalley, the Moomins find an exciting new home… a floating theatre! But why is there a door in the floor? Why does the scenery start changing? And where do Moomintroll, Little My and Snork Maiden disappear to? As strange things start to happen it seems the only way to bring the family back together is to put on a play! Tove Jansson’s adorable Moomins have charmed children for generations. Now one of her most popular stories jumps from page to stage, for the perfect summer family treat.

£9 Saver Shows: Sat 14 Jun 11am & 2.30pm

After-show Talk: Sat 26 Jul 2.30pm

Relaxed Performance: Sat 28 Jun 11am

Integrated Sign Language Performance: Sat 5 Jul 3.30pm (Signed by Jacqui Beckford and Martin


For ages 4 - 8 years

Tickets £9 – £13.50 (plus £1.50 handling charge per transaction)

Main Theatre

Running time approx. 1 hour 35 minutes, including interval

Usually two performances daily Tuesday – Saturday. Please check our website or call Box

Office on 020 8543 4888 for further details.

25 June – 16 Aug

Polka Theatre and Little Angel Theatre presents

Skitterbang Island

By Phil Porter and Martin Ward | Based on an original idea by Danny Vice-Holt | Directed by Peter Glanville

A heart-warming puppet opera for children. Storm! Shipwreck! Adventure! Lost on an island in the very north of the world, a brave little girl meets a shy, curious creature… Not only does he look odd, he sounds different too! Meet the Skitterbang. In his cave full of metal and junk washed up from the sea, he shows her his newest treasure which sounds so beautiful. But who does it really belong to?

Join us for an exciting tale of discovery and friendship as we journey to a magical world full of music, song, rhythm and harmony. Following sell-out performances at Polka in 2010, the critically acclaimed Skitterbang Island sails back for an enchanting summer treat with a difference.

Relaxed Performance: Sat 19 Jul

For ages 3 – 6 years

Tickets £8.50 - £11 (plus £1.50 handling charge per transaction)

Adventure Theatre

Running time approx. 45 minutes, no interval

Usually two performances daily Tuesday – Saturday. Please check our website or call Box

Office on 020 8543 4888 for further details.

Wed 28 May – Sat 31 May

Company of Angels presents

I, Peaseblossom and I, Caliban By Tim Crouch

A magical introduction to Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s most popular stories come to life in two fresh, fun shows. Meet Peaseblossom and

Caliban as they draw you into A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest.

I, Peaseblossom: A funny, enchanting journey through the world of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, brought to life by Peaseblossom, Shakespeare’s most neglected fairy. I, Caliban: A sweet and sorry tale of injustice, magic and missing your mum, as told by Caliban, a puppy-headed monster alone on Prospero’s island at the end of The Tempest. Both shows are self-contained, so you can enjoy just one or both. Why not make a day of it and stay for lunch at Polka in between the two performances.

For ages 8+

Tickets £9 - £12.50 (plus £1.50 handling charge per transaction)

Main Theatre

Running time 1 hour for each performance

Performances: I, Peaseblossom – Wed 28 May 11.30am, Thu 29 May 2.00pm, Fri 30 May 11.30am, Sat 31 May,

2.00pm. I, Caliban – Wed 28 May 2.00pm, Thu 29 May 11.30am, Fri 30 May 2.00pm, Sat 31 May 11.30am


Polka hosts an array of Visiting Adventures for ages 6 months – 7 years in the Adventure Theatre from

March – June 2014. Please visit for more information or email

240 Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1SB

+44 (0)20 8543 4888