inspiring the next generation

“Polka is much more than a leading children’s theatre, it is a complete experience designed with children in mind. We have an amazing, chance-of-a-lifetime opportunity to redevelop Polka as a unique place of inspiration for children, artists and our local community. Please support FUTURE POLKA and help us inspire future generations. Thank you.”

Peter Glanville, Chief Executive and Artistic Director

Why Change Polka?

We first opened the doors to our ground-breaking theatre venue for children way back in 1979. Since then we have welcomed over 3.5 million visitors which has taken its toll on our building. We now urgently need to redevelop Polka so we can continue to be an exciting and stimulating theatre venue exclusively for babies up to 12 year olds and set new standards in children’s theatre. For many, Polka is the place where theatre begins…


We want to reimagine what our dedicated children’s theatre could and should be for our young audiences and their families. Following years of consultation, we have thought long and hard about how we can improve Polka for future generations and as a vibrant hub for our local community. We are excited about our new plans.


  • New Adventure Theatre – the UK’s first purpose-built ‘Early Years’ theatre big enough to meet increased demand for our shows for under 6s
  • Rehearsal and R&D studio – our first onsite rehearsal studio, supporting our PolkaLAB professional development programme
  • Creative Learning Studio – an expanded programme of play-based learning and theatre will be possible in our new centralised learning space, which will have direct access to a new multisensory garden and redeveloped indoor play area
  • New bathroom and baby change facilities and designated buggy park
  • An expanded destination café and redesigned outdoor playground
  • Our whole premises will also be better equipped and more accessible for visitors and staff alike, offering a much improved range of venue hire and free play options for our local community.






The building will temporarily close on Monday 18 February ready for building work to begin in March 2019. The building works will take up to 18 months, reopening in Summer 2020.


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Donate towards FUTURE POLKA and help us inspire generations to come

If you would like further information on how you can support us, please contact Amanda Cropper, Capital Campaign Director: amanda@polkatheatre.com