The Emperor’s New Clothes at Polka Theatre

Writer and director Sarah Brigham brings a contemporary twist to the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale.

This classic tale is one of the few that still remain in my mind’s eye from my childhood and the excitement was high to see this new interpretation on the Polka Theatre stage.

The story is a timeless tale of humanity’s vanity. It deals with greed, our desire for power, material things and good standing in society. The new contemporary re-telling is spot on – with an emperor that constantly spouts how ‘fake news’ is getting him down and sings songs such as ‘all by my selfie’. It shows, in a fun and engaging way, how our obsession with appearance and consumerism is fuelled by what others trhink of us – be they journalists or friends and aquaintances on social media channels.

I loved that the performance is witty, inclusive and funny all at the same time. The award-winning Hiccup Theatre delivers powerful storytelling that combines audience participation with live music and puppetry. Plus all of this is delivered through British Sign Language as well as spoken word.

Then there are the outfits, loud, extravagant and flamboyant, which makes it even funnier when the Emperor is left naked at the end. Costumes combined with the other elements of the show make for a great day out at the theatre. And as we are talking of theatres, Polka is one of our favourites (mainly because of the play space, the great gift shop the adffordable cafe). Plus they have lots of performances and workshops coming up in the coming months. The Emperor’s New Clothes is on at Polka until 22nd May and tickets start at £10 more info and bookings here.

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