Clicking opens the soundtrack in a new window, PC users can also right click and select 'save as' to download.
Early Years Theatre
Our long history of producing and receiving productions specifically created for children under the age of 6, places Polka at the heart of Early Years Theatre in the UK and this work is a vital part of our artistic programme. The combination of Polka's in-house productions, alongside a range of work from visiting companies, is designed to engage, stimulate and delight our youngest audiences. The intimacy of The Adventure Theatre provides a safe, cosy environment through which to introduce children to live theatre.
Polka's own productions for the Early Years range from adaptations of well-loved books, such as Oliver Jeffers' How to Catch A Star to new writing such as Lizzie Allen’s Under One Roof and the devised work of Banyan Theatre's Joy Haynes who directed Princess and the Pea. Increasingly, Polka has been collaborating with other companies in co-productions that have included Brilliant, with Fevered Sleep, and Wish Wash, with Northampton’s Royal and Derngate Theatres.
Our programme of theatre for the very young includes performances by companies and artists with whom we have developed a close relationship over the years. We aim to present a varied programme with the knowledge that we can offer a wide range of experiences of the highest quality.
The more recent development of theatre for babies and toddlers aged from 6 – 36 months has been supported by Polka's work, since 2004, in collaboration with a growing number of national and international theatre practitioners.
Since 2006, Polka's involvement as the UK partner with the European network, Small size, the net enabled us to continue ourpolicy of including international theatre within our programme, and extend our relationship with practitioners currently leading the way in theatre for babies and toddlers in Europe.
Original partners within the Small size network included Théâtre de la Guimbarde (Belgium), La Baracca (Italy) and HELIOS Theater (Germany), all of whom have brought over innovative productions for children aged 6 months – 4 years that have delighted audiences and inspired fellow practitioners.
In 2009, the Small size project received further funding from the European Commission EACEA (Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency) under the Culture Programme 2007-2013. Funded for five years, through Small size, big citizens we are now working in partnership with three other UK organisations and internationally with 11 other countries to widen the network of activity promoting an awareness of the significance of the performing arts within early childhood. This is happening through collaborative projects, exchange and research, that connect early childcare professionals and arts practitioners throughout Europe.
Polka's commitment to Early Years Theatre is recognised within the theatre industry. Through Small size, Polka has supported opportunities for artist development and is privileged to showcase some of the very latest UK theatre being created for babies and toddlers. Polka Firsts is a new strand of our Early Years programme that previews brand new work for 0-3's.
European partners alongside the UK include:
Accion Educativa (Madrid, Spain)
Baboro Galway International Children’s Festival (Galway, Ireland)
Anantalo Arts Centre (Helsinki, Finland)
Gledalusce Za Otroke in Mlade – GOML – (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
HELIOS Theater (Hamm, Germany)
Kolibri Theatre (Budapest, Hungary)
Teatrul Ion Creagna (Bucharest, Romania)
Theatre de la Guimbarde (Charleroi, Belgium)
Toihaus Theater (Salzburg, Austria)
Ville de Limoges (Limoges, France)
The project is managed by Lead partner La Baracca, Teatro Testoni Ragazzi (Bologna,Italy)