This winter the fantastic book Gorilla has been made into a stage show at the Polka Theatre, Wimbledon. Based on the award-winning picture book by former Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne, Polka Theatre presents the world-premiere of Gorilla, set to enchant audiences aged 1 – 5 in the Adventure Theatre from 16 October 2013 – 15 February 2014. The story of Hannah, her father and a very cuddly gorilla is told through beautiful puppetry, new musical composition by Julian Butler, a charming set and a giant sprinkling of seasonal Polka magic. When Hannah’s toy gorilla comes to life dressed in her father’s hat and coat, they embark on a thrilling moonlit adventure to fantastical landscapes that will delight and amaze the young audience. Sadly at the last minute I was unable to make it due to university commitments so my Dad stepped in and took eldest up to Wimbledon to see it. When he got back I asked Eldest what he thought of it and this is what he told me.
When we got to Wimbledon we looked at the map on the iPhone and we walked to the theatre. We found it and went to look in the shop and then we went to the cafe which was made to look like train carriages, I had a Gingerbread Man and some Haribo for the show and a drink. The train carriage table was really cool. Then we went into the playground. There was a cat which had steps and I climbed up them and there was a big one at the end and I got in and my pops took a picture. There was a climbing frame and a ramp too and I ran down the ramp and I did the highest speed limit. Then it was time to go to see the show. We went into the Theatre and there was space at the front for children to sit and I sat at the back with my Pops. The person told us about Gorillas and two important things 1) When Daddy gorillas get old they have grey hair 2) the daddy always play with the little gorillas. I have the book of Gorilla at home and I liked that the show was the same as the book. The stage moved when they changed locations like the zoo and the cafe, they even pulled a screen down for the cinema. At the end when they had real life candles that the girl blew out on her cake. I really enjoyed the show. It was really fun.
Eldest visited with my Dad who was mega impressed with the theatre overall. He told me the food from the cafe was affordable and not inflated prices and that everywhere was nice and clean. It wasn’t overly crowded and he found the overall experience and visit lovely. He was hugely impressed with the nice playground they have onsite and the way they have things on offer in the lobby to entertain children whilst they were waiting. He also liked the way they made space for the children to sit near the front and adults at the back around the sides on benches. For 45 minutes my eldest was glued to the show and to be honest I’m so gutted I couldn’t personally make it because it sounds like they had a fantastic time. I asked my Dad if he would go back again and he replied: ‘Definitely, friendly staff, I loved the energy of the building and outside. I suppose as it doesn’t hold a huge number, it didn’t feel overwhelming and over run with kids!!’
Gorilla is playing in Polka’s Adventure Theatre for ages 3 – 5 with special toddler performances for ages 1 – 2 from 16 October 2013– 15 February 2014. Tickets are £10 (£8 concessions), to book please call the Box Office on 020 8543 4888 or visit http://www.polkatheatre.com.
Disclosure: We received two tickets free to visit and review the show.