A safe haven for south London parents and children, the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon is fit with a toy zone and extensive play area to keep little ones entertained before and between performances, while parents can get their caffeine fix from the nearby café.It also boasts an extensive programme of shows for children.
This winter, the Polka Theatre is putting on a performance of the classic Beauty and the Beast fairytale, with a few delicious twists on the original under the direction of the Polka's own associate director Roman Stefanski.
In this adaptation, the heroine's sister Cassandra is every bit as spirited as Belle is timid, which makes for many humourous sisterly clashes that have children and adults alike laughing out loud. The sibling relationship is brought to the foreground in this refreshing modern take on a timeless classic. Belle embarks on a fantastical journey to the Beast's magnificent castle, in the hope of saving her father from ruin.
The acting is boisterous and enthusiastic throughout, while skilful physical theatre and beautifully choreographed scene changes keep energy high and children transfixed on the action. Beautifully intricate sets recreate the worlds of bustling London, rural Devon and the eery castle of the Beast, as clever trap doors, mystical dry ice and rose petal confetti have children craning their necks in fascination and clapping in delight.
Some of the play’s morals are rendered somewhat confused by an already confusing plot line, but in the end love prevails over all, and timely lessons about the nature of beauty and the corrupting powers of greed are conveyed convincingly.
A beautiful winter performance filled with dancing, stunning set design and laughter, The Polka’ theatre’s Beauty and the Beast is worth travelling south for. Parents should be warned that the Beast’s initial appearance onstage may frighten and upset younger children. Families put off by soaring west end prices will find magic enough this winter at the reasonably priced Polka Theatre production of Beauty and the Beast this winter.
Suitable for children aged 6 – 12
|What||Beauty and the Beast Review|
|Where||Polka Theatre, 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1SB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||South Wimbledon (underground)|
20 Nov 15 – 07 Feb 16, Show times vary
|Website||Click here to book via Polka Theatre|