Amy Loughton stars as Mum in Crackers! written by Charles Way and Directed by Nicky Allpress as Polka Theatre returns with a Christmas season tailored for younger audiences and their families.
To entertain children aged five to twelve, Polka will stage its brand-new Christmas comedy Crackers!, a hilarious family farce in the Main Theatre that will have the whole family in stitches!
There is more to a trip to Polka than the performance: with outdoor and indoor play areas, an enticing shop and café, it makes for a full family day out. There are also workshops for children this Christmas which include activities such as decorating your own Christmas crackers in Polka’s magical, snowy sensory space, storytelling sessions with your favourite teddy and comedy workshops to make your own laugh-out-loud scenes, with options available for a range of ages.
Crackers! Is at Polka Theatre 19 November 2022 to 15 January 2023.
You’re appearing in Crackers! At Polka Theatre, what can you tell us about the show?
Crackers is a joyful festive farce taking us through a day in the life of the wonderful Cracker family. It’s Christmas Eve. Single mum, Sue, is busy running the pet shop and juggling celebrations along with the help from the kids: Maia and Joe. There’s a visit from really quite Great Grandma Cath and the endearingly useless Mike and Joe’s much loved and cheeky rat Napoleon is on the lose!
When you first read the script, what was it that made you want to be a part of the production?
There’s a lovely heart to the piece, a real sense of togetherness that I think chaotic families do so well. It’s fast and funny and has a lovely festive energy running through it, a perfect way to spend the holiday season!
You’re playing Mum, tell us a little about the character, and what you love about her so much?
Mum Is a whirlwind of energy and efficiency, a master plate spinner with a huge heart. She loves her family and her pet shop, though is finding it hard to keep it all going in current times. She is one of those mums who spends so much energy looking after everyone else, maybe she’s missed something right under her nose, just for her…
And what’s the biggest challenge you face with the role?
There’s a beautiful speed and rhythm to this piece – think high farce, door-slamming, no one keeps still for very long kind of vibes! I think the biggest challenge has been trying to get that in our bones and run at that high pace, because the instinct is to do it straight off, but there’s puppets, props galore and a few high speed chases to juggle!
We’ve been so lucky to get on the gorgeous set nice and early, it’s now just about drilling those tracks, working out the myriad of props and mayhem and getting it as slick and smooth as we can!
Why do you think theatre made for kids is even more important over the festive season?
The fizz and excitement of performing to kids at Christmas is unbeatable. Adults tend to be very serious and held back as an audience, kids do not filter. They are by far my favourite audience members. That togetherness, the unfiltered, shared experience of watching, enjoying, laughing, expressing, squealing at nonsense and joy, that’s what Christmas should be about, for every kid. Theatre offers a shared space to laugh and let go. It’s vital for kids and adults alike!
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking tickets to see Crackers!?
Get a wriggle on, it’s selling fast!!