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Polka Theatre’s Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive Helen Matravers, Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive Lynette Shanbury, and the whole team are pleased to announce further details for the world premiere of Tidy, playing at Polka Theatre from Saturday 10 February to Sunday 24 March.

A co-production between Polka Theatre and Theatr Iolo; Tidy is based on the much-loved children’s book by author and illustrator, Emily Gravett; a gentle but cautionary tale about the value of the world around us and what happens if we don’t look after it, featuring beautiful puppets, original music and a touch of silliness, recommended for children from 3 – 7 years old.

Pete the badger likes everything to be neat and tidy: the flowers, the leaves, even the other animals. But, when autumn comes, he gets a little bit carried away with cleaning up the forest and accidentally destroys his own home!


Helen Matravers said, “I cannot wait to share the magic and hilarity of Pete the Badger’s adventure with Polka audiences. There is something in this story for every 3-7 year old to enjoy – from wonderful puppetry, to incredibly catchy songs and a big hug for our precious planet – the creative team are bringing Emily Gravett’s story to life with exceptional attention to detail and it’s fantastic that Polka and Theatr Iolo are able to team up to bring it to our main stage.”

Robert Penny, whose theatre credits include The Smeds and the Smoos (West End and UK Tour) Red Riding Hood (Liverpool Everyman) The Cat in the Hat (Leicester Curve, and UK Tour) will play ‘Pete the Badger’ – and returns to Polka after playing in Oh No, George! earlier this year.

Clare Pointing, a writer, actor and puppeteer, whose recent children’s theatre credits include WOW! Said the Owl (Little Angel Theatre) The Singing Mermaid (Little Angel Theatre) and The Paper Dolls (Polka Theatre) will play ‘Rabbit’. Jack Benjamin, whose theatre credits include Mom, How Did You Meet The Beatles?, (Chichester Festival Theatre), To Kill A Mockingbird (Gielgud Theatre), and Kiss Me, Kate (Watermill Theatre), will play ‘Fox’.

Tidy is created by Theatr Iolo Artistic Director Lee Lyford, alongside Lucy Rivers and Rachael Canning.

The show is directed by Lee Lyford, with set, costume and beautiful puppetry designby Rachel Canning, original music and lyrics by Lucy Rivers, sound design by Yvonne Gilbert and lighting design by Jane Lalljee.

Lee Lyford added, “I’m hugely excited for Theatr Iolo and Polka Theatre to be working together to bring Tidy to the stage for young audiences. Emily Gravett’s wonderful story is full of humour and silliness, but also has an important theme at its heart. I can’t wait to bring Pete the badger to life on the main stage, and hope this playful production will capture the imagination of children, whilst also asking them to think about how we can all look after the world around us.”

Tickets are on sale now via polkatheatre.com or via 020 8543 4888*

About Polka Theatre

Polka Theatre is one of just a handful of dedicated children’s venues in the UK. Re-opening in 2021 after a major renovation, Polka continues to present a year-round programme of shows produced by Polka and from visiting companies.

Polka also offers a full programme of creative learning activities for ages 0–12, with over 21,000 children taking part in the last year. Polka enjoys flexible rehearsal and workshop spaces along with two performance spaces: the Main

Theatre has a 300-seat capacity, and the Adventure Theatre can seat up to 90 depending on the show format. Polka is a community hub and vital resource, open 6 days per week, 50 weeks per year at a challenging time to be a sustainable public venue with step-free access, free-to-access play spaces and a cosy and welcoming café and shop.

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