Polka is giving away a total of 6,000 school tickets this academic year!
Curtain-Up! is a subsidised ticket scheme that allows Polka to give free tickets to school groups who face barriers that make it harder to access live theatre. The majority of the children that attend Curtain Up! shows have never been to the theatre before. Curtain Up! has been running at Polka for over 20 years and we enable at least 2,000 Primary School Children to attend each year. We are now tripling that by giving away a total of 6,000 school tickets for this academic year!
The growth of this scheme is in response to the lasting impact of Covid, as we have noticed our schools struggling financially and organisationally to bring children to our brand-new space. Alongside our flexible booking policies, we aim to remove the financial barrier for schools to attend by offering free tickets.
We aim to ensure that all children have access to live theatre to ensure a whole generation of children don’t miss out on these vital experiences.
Curtain Up! is open to state schools who meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Have more than 20% of their students who are eligible for free school meals
- Have more than 25% of pupils for whom English is an additional language
- Have a large number of children who have refugee status
- Find it difficult to give their students opportunities to experience the arts
Participating schools receive:
- Free tickets to a show for a class, year group or key stage
- After-show talk with show creatives
- Resources linking to the show to support continued creative learning in the classroom
Any queries, please contact Schools Relationship Officer Elysia.
How to apply
To enrol your school in Curtain Up, please fill out the application form by clicking ‘Fill in the form’ below. Before you complete our application form, we recommend that you browse our upcoming productions to see what would best suit your group.
We are committed to making Polka accessible and inclusive to everyone. Please get in touch if your group would benefit from a Relaxed, Captioned or BSL performance as there may be additional access performance dates available.
Upcoming Curtain Up! Performances at Polka Theatre are as follows:
Jack V Giant | EYFS & Years 1-4
The Lost Spells | Years 2-6
The Everywhere Bear | EYFS & KS1
Hairy | Years 2-6
“The students were absolutely blown away by how amazing the show was. About 70% of the students had never been to the theatre before and so it is fabulous to know that this experience has now been given to them hopefully to help encourage a further love of the arts. The whole theme and messages from the show about how to love yourself, promoting self esteem, positivity and being kind were excellent. The students loved the characters, the story and the singing. They have not stopped talking about this experience!”
“The ‘Curtain Up’ experience was fantastic. The children haven’t stopped talking about their theatre experience. Many of the children in our Year 2 have not experienced a trip to the theatre before and this was a brilliant, high quality introduction for them. This is a fantastic scheme.”
“I just wanted to thank you for our tickets yesterday. All the children had an utterly amazing time at the theatre, many had never been to the cinema let alone the theatre and some were even excited about their first train journey! They really engaged with the performance and got stuck into the Q&A as well. Please also thank your staff on the day who managed our large group so well and made us feel very welcome and accommodated. Wherever the funding source came from to allow us to give the children this experience it was very well spent, will have made a huge impact on our children and will be an opportunity they will treasure for a long time.”
We want to continue to reach at least 4,000 children per year through Curtain Up! in Merton, Croydon, Wandsworth and other surrounding boroughs, and we’ll be continuing to fundraise to make that happen. We want to thank all our committed current Curtain Up! supporters:
The Peter and Teresa Harris Charitable Trust
Alf and Hilda Leivers Charity Trust
The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
The John Thaw Foundation
Teale Charitable Trust
Unity Theatre Trust
A special thank you to:
The Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation