Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Polka Theatre Announces Festive Season 2022

Learn more about the lineup here!

Polka Theatre Announces Festive Season 2022

Polka Theatre returns with a Christmas season tailored for younger audiences and their families. The season will include the return of their heart-warming show Grandad, Me and Teddy Too in their Adventure Theatre, a magical story that celebrates the importance of family, even at long-distances - a treat for audiences aged two to five (and their adults). To entertain children aged five to twelve, Polka will stage its brand-new Christmas comedy Crackers, a hilarious family farce in the Main Theatre that will have the whole family in stitches! Both productions are perfect festive activities for young audiences in the lead up to Christmas.

There is more to a trip to Polka than the performance: with outdoor and indoor play areas, an enticing shop and café, it makes for a full family day out. There are also workshops for children this Christmas which include activities such as decorating your own Christmas crackers in Polka's magical, snowy sensory space, storytelling sessions with your favourite teddy and comedy workshops to make your own laugh-out-loud scenes, with options available for a range of ages.

Peter Glanville, Artistic Director of Polka, today said: "We are delighted to be presenting a couple of beautiful productions this Winter. Crackers is a hilarious new farce for all the family, by award-winning playwright Charles Way; whilst for younger children we have a timely revival of one of our most-loved productions Grandad, Me and Teddy Too, written and directed by Early Years specialist Sarah Argent.

These shows are accompanied by a range of holiday workshops, all designed to inspire children's creativity. We hope to see you soon - there's plenty for everyone to enjoy at Polka."

Sarah Argent, Director of Grandad, Me and Teddy Too, added: "I am so delighted to be returning to Polka Theatre to work again on Grandad, Me and Teddy Too, a show much-loved by audiences, cast, creative team, and staff at Polka when we first created it back in 2014. We are thrilled to have our original cast members, Gordon and Katie (and Teddy Too!), back with us - it is testament to their fondness for this piece and the characters they play that they were so eager to revisit their roles. The touching and heart-warming story revolves around Mia who keeps in touch with her Grandad in Argentina via the internet; this online relationship resonated for some children when we first made the show; since the pandemic, so many more children have experienced this so we hope the show will resonate even more than it did originally. It will be really special to make this show again in the beautiful new Adventure Theatre and to be rehearsing and spending time in the wonderful new spaces in and around the redeveloped Polka building."

Nicky Allpress, Director of Crackers: A Festive Family Farce further said: "I'm looking forward to directing this heart-warming comedy for families - I can't wait to get started on this joyful blend of fast paced fun, and pet shop shenanigans. Expect giggles galore from the youngest to the oldest audience members. Join us as our 10-year-old hero, Joe, unites with his awesome Great GREAT Grandma to see off the villainous estate agent who threatens to spoil the festivities. Join us to see if they can save the day in time for Christmas!"

Polka Theatre presents


A Festive Family Farce

Written by Charles Way; Directed by Nicky Allpress

19 November - 15 January 2022

Press performances: 25 November at 6pm and 26 November at 2:30pm

Ages: 5 - 12

Cast: Amy Loughton (Mum); Andy Umerah (Joe); Erika Poole (Grandma); Phil Yarrow (Mike);

Sera Mustafa (Maia)

Design by Liz Cooke; Lighting Design by Anna Reddyhoff; Sound Design by Anna Short;

Stage Management by Michela Corcoran

Meet the Crackers. They're trying to get ready for Christmas Day, but it's not easy when the family pet shop is going out of business, Great Gran's expecting a visit from Father Christmas and Napoleon the rat is on the loose. Visit Polka this festive season for a family farce like no other, written by award-winning playwright Charles Way.

Charles Way returns to Polka Theatre with Crackers. His previous plays for Polka include Sleeping Beauty, The Night Before Christmas, Playing from the Heart and The Borrowers. Way has won several awards including The Writer's Guild award for A Spell of Cold Weather, The Arts Council's Children's award for Red Red Shoes, and the German Children's Prize for Missing. He is a member of the Writer's Guild and is published by Aurora Metro Press, specialising in plays for children and young adults produced worldwide. A new musical based on his adaption of Cinderella opens in Belfast this Christmas, and next year sees the première of a new play for family audiences called The Vanishing Elephant, produced by Cahoots NI.

Nicky Allpress has worked as a freelance director for many years. Her recent theatre credits include My Brilliant Friend (National Theatre), Market Boy (Union Theatre), My Fair Lady (Hexagon Theatre) and About 500 (Barbican); and as Assistant Director, her work includes: Finishing the Picture (Finborough Theatre), The Pirates of Penzance (Wilton's Music Hall), The Cherry Orchard and Heartbreak House (Union Theatre). As well as directing for numerous drama schools, her recent 1980's production of Romeo & Juliet sold out at Southwark Playhouse. As a writer and lyricist, she's currently developing a new musical based on Nell Dunn's Up the Junction with Chris Difford of Squeeze, alongside the Book, Music and Lyrics team, and has just completed her first series for television.

Polka Theatre presents

Grandad, Me and Teddy Too

Written and Directed by Sarah Argent

2 December - 29 January 2022

Press performances: 9 December at 1:15pm and 10 December at 11:45am

Ages: 2 - 5

Cast: Katie Carlton (Mia) and Gordon Warneck (Grandad)

Design by Katie Lias; Lighting Design by Jonathan Chan; Composition by Greg Hall;

Production Management by Nick Allsop; Stage Management by Rebecca Harris

Mia loves her Grandad very much. He lives far away on the other side of the world, but finally he's coming to visit, and Mia's excitement is growing. When Grandad arrives, he brings with him adventurous stories and games which set Mia's imagination alight- together they explore the whole world without ever leaving her playroom. Join Grandad, Mia (and Teddy too) as they share an unforgettable adventure to wherever their imaginations take them.

Bring your own teddy or toy when you see the show. Share your pictures with us #BYOBear and our favourite wins a special prize!

Sarah Argent is an award-winning artist devising, directing and writing theatre for children. She has created a number of productions for Polka Theatre and for other acclaimed theatre companies including Unicorn Theatre, National Theatre, Welsh National Opera, Sherman Theatre, Theatr Clwyd, ThinkArts (Kolkata, India), Haya Cultural Centre (Amman, Jordan) Barnstorm Theatre (Kilkenny, Ireland) and Companyia Frec a Frec (Barcelona). She is an Associate Artist of Cardiff-based Theatr Iolo, for whom, between 2001 and 2018, she developed all the company's work for under-fives. She is particularly renowned for creating theatre for babies under 18 months old. Her productions for this age have been performed throughout the UK, Australia and India.


Christmas Crackers

Join us this holiday time to decorate your own Christmas cracker in our magical, snowy sensory space! The perfect treat for you and your children to enjoy spending special time together before watching our festive farce show Crackers.

Teddy Bear Tales

Bring your favourite teddy to Polka and join our specialist storyteller who will take you on a drama adventure based on the production of Grandad, Me and Teddy Too.

Comedy Act!

Still cracking up from Polka's Christmas show Crackers? Then join us to learn more about what makes a cracking comedy act! This workshop looks at comedic timing, improvisation skills and physical theatre techniques used when creating and performing laugh out loud comic scenes.

Review: ASTORIA, Jack Studio Theatre Photo
Tony Britten's play is funny and moving if, at times, tricky to follow

Kerry Ellis Releases New Single Battlefield, featuring Sir Brian May Photo
The supremely talented Kerry Ellis has released Battlefield, the first single taken from her upcoming album Kings & Queens, out on 12 May. Featuring the legendary Sir Brian May on guitar, the track is available to stream and download now, while the album can be pre-ordered via Westway Music.

Samantha Womack, Michael Praed, Faye Tozer, Les Dennis and Nicole-Lily Baisden Will Lead 4 Photo
​​​​​​​Samantha Womack will star as Dorothy Brock, alongside Michael Praed as Julian Marsh, Faye Tozer as Maggie Jones, Les Dennis as Bert Barry and Nicole-Lily Baisden as Peggy Sawyer in the UK tour of 42nd STREET.

Special Spring Offer on NEWSIES at Troubadour Wembley Park Photo
Disney’s Newsies, the sensational family musical with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and book by Harvey Fierstein is now playing at London’s Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre for a limited season.

More Hot Stories For You

Nina Productions Presents Sam Potter's THE UNICORN at The Arcola in JuneNina Productions Presents Sam Potter's THE UNICORN at The Arcola in June
March 31, 2023

Tom Brennan directs Alice Lamb in Sam Potter's provocative and unflinching play The Unicorn, about one woman's obsessive sexual behaviour, as she tries to find the balance between her insatiable sexual drive and what she thinks society expects of her.  But what need is she really trying to fill?

Mel Giedroyc, Carrie Hope Fletcher, and More Will Lead THE CROWN JEWELS in the West End and on UK TourMel Giedroyc, Carrie Hope Fletcher, and More Will Lead THE CROWN JEWELS in the West End and on UK Tour
March 31, 2023

The cast has been announced for this summer's must-see West End comic caper, The Crown Jewels which plays at the Garrick Theatre from Friday 7  July – Saturday 16 September 2023 ahead of regional autumn engagements.

Cast Announced For The World Premiere Of DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS?Cast Announced For The World Premiere Of DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS?
March 31, 2023

The cast is today revealed for the world premiere of 'Do You Believe in Ghosts?'.

Emmanuel Sonubi Adds Extra Date at Leicester Square Theatre On His Debut Tour With EmancipatedEmmanuel Sonubi Adds Extra Date at Leicester Square Theatre On His Debut Tour With Emancipated
March 31, 2023

Dave's Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer nominee Emmanuel Sonubi has added an extra date to his debut tour. Due to demand, Emmanuel will now perform his award nominated show Emancipated at Leicester Square Theatre on 27th May.

MAMMA MIA! in London Extends Booking To 2 March 2024MAMMA MIA! in London Extends Booking To 2 March 2024
March 31, 2023

The global smash hit musical MAMMA MIA! has extended its booking period at London's Novello Theatre to Saturday 2 March 2024, with tickets now on sale.