Polka Theatre

Polka Theatre and Heath Books – Bringing Reading for Pleasure to Life

We are so pleased to be teaming up with Polka Theatre to help classrooms really embrace the joy of reading for pleasure!

Now, not only can schools see a wonderful book brought to life on the stage at Polka they can follow it up with a special discounted class set of the book for students to read or even keep!

Browse our bundles below for a book currently being performed on stage at Polka Theatre.

All bundles have discount applied for schools and we welcome any schools who have seen the show to apply the code that’s included in your post show resources from Polka Theatre to get an even bigger discount on these titles.

We hope that in seeing a book brought to life on the stage as well as having it to read that lots of children feel the joy of reading for pleasure.

A Word From Polka

Since opening its doors in 1979, Polka Theatre has empowered children to navigate their world through inspirational theatre and creative experiences.

Committed to creating world-class theatre for children and young people which is challenging, relevant and of the highest quality, Polka is known throughout the world as a pioneer of theatre for children.

With two on-site theatre spaces, Polka presents a wide range work for those aged 0-12, from world premieres of new plays, such as Three Sat Under the Banyan Tree and Grandad, Me…and Teddy Too, to adaptations of beloved stories such as The Everywhere Bear and Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of Ghosts.

Developing literacy skills, reading comprehension and a love for booksSchool group laughing

Teacher Resources

These latter adaptations of popular books provide an invaluable resource for teachers and educators to develop literacy skills, reading comprehension, and a love for books among their learners. The opportunity to watch a novel come alive on the stage can:

  • Decode the text
    Watching a book adaptation can help children to understand key themes and plot points, especially for those who struggle to discern between key information and ancillary details.
  • Help children to visualise reading
    Conjuring up imagined worlds from the words on a page is a complex skill, and one that can be significantly aided by witnessing the real-life sets, props and costumes of a theatrical production. A trip to the theatre is a multi-sensory experience!
  • Increase understanding of character
    Watching actors bring a character to life before their eyes can aid children in understanding the different motivations and perspectives in a story. Alongside this, viewing characters as ‘real’ people can aid the development of empathy.
  • Support the development of fluency and oracy skills
    Hearing high-quality talk on a daily basis is key for the development of fluency in spoken language. In addition, hearing the lines from a book spoken by a professional actor can aid not only comprehension, but also children’s own ability to read aloud with appropriate tone, pitch and emotion.
  • Increase motivation to read
    A trip to the theatre is a fun and enjoyable experience. Connecting these positive experiences with written texts can encourage children to want to read the original source material, or further books in a series or genre.
Cinderella Big Bash

Polka as a Venue for Children

Polka has reimagined what a theatre for children could and should be. Working closely with local schools, families and community groups, children’s voices are at the heart of every decision made, from the shows presented across the two theatres, to the food available in the café.

  • The 300-seat Main Theatre offers a classic theatre experience with a chilled environment, meaning that children are welcome to react, stim or come and go as needed.
  • The 100-seat Adventure Theatre is a versatile space, perfect for immersive experiences for the youngest audiences or those with additional sensory needs.
  • The Clore Learning Studio is the dedicated home of Polka’s extensive Creative Learning programme. It also doubles as a Sensory Suite for Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent children, featuring an interactive floor and wall projections.
  • The Y C Chan Play Den, complete with book corner and dressing-up area, is free to access all day long from Tuesday to Sunday.
  • The Nest Rehearsal and Community Space offers an even larger workshop space, perfect for large school groups.
  • The café and shop are open from Tuesday to Sunday every week, offering up a wide range of treats and souvenirs.

All areas of Polka are wheelchair accessible, with level access to the Adventure Theatre, Clore Learning Studio, Y C Chan Play Den, Shop and Café, and lift access to the Nest and Main Theatre. Polka also regularly offers Sensory Relaxed, Captioned, Audio-Described and BSL-Interpreted shows.

Sam Wu Is NOT Afraid of Ghosts! - Kevin Tsang

Polka Theatre are currently performing:

Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of Ghosts
by Kevin and Katie Tsang
and illustrated by Nathan Reed

Running from 22nd June to 18th August 2024