In the Winter Wood, created in conjunction with Apples and Snakes, is an immersive, interactive experience where you chant, field questions, roar and stamp your feet along to the animal adventure stories happening in the wood. Pig and Goat have escaped from the farm to avoid slaughter, and with the help of Cockerel, Hare and Goose, they form a friendship in the woods, working hard together to build a home and share stories of courage, endurance, overcoming fear as brave, unexpected heroes. The stories are told with humour and highlight the power of positive thinking and working together, and delve into cultures around the world (my kids definitely know all about the African baobab tree now, and that it’s excellent for storing water).
With music, light and sound effects, interactive elements like wolf masks and falling snow, and those blankets to cuddle whenever a scary animal appeared, for audience members there was a definite stories-around-a-campfire feel to this show – which kids love. Jan Blake has a booming delivery and does all of the voices, accents and musical sound effects brilliantly. My kids were absolutely entranced with her performance and storytelling abilities.
Kids aged 4-6 are likely to appreciate it most – it calls on that early-school years knowledge of animals and places in a way they’ll like – although it also captivates slightly older kids and even younger ones (my one-year-old mostly sat still through it).
Oh, and when you’re visiting the Polka, don’t forget to book into their other winter show this season, The Wind in the Willows.
|What||In The Winter Wood Polka Theatre review|
|Where||Polka Theatre, 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1SB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||South Wimbledon (underground)|
29 Nov 18 – 17 Feb 19, Performance times vary
|Website||Click here for booking information|