The cast of Crackers

Festive family farce Crackers arrives at the Polka Theatre

Crackers the Christmas family farce has arrived at Polka Theatre and will run until 15th January.

The first showing at the Wimbledon theatre was on 19th November with the show being aimed towards children aged five to 12.

The show was written by award-winning writer, Charles Way, directed by Nicky Allpress and is about a family trying to save their house from developers and save Christmas.

Way described a farce as an anarchic form of theatre, which is all set in one room with very exaggerated characters.

He said: “I’ve seen a lot of farces over the years and haven’t cared about the people in them.

“So I wanted to write a farce where we cared about the characters as well.

“This is a particularly difficult form, it’s very much to do with rhythm leading up to funny actions and jokes.

“There are so many parts of the play that can go wrong. If the jokes fall flat you have to start again.”

The interactions between the audience and the characters are vital in Crackers.

The show makes use of the wide family audience with every person having a character appealing to them.

Way said: “The audience is like another character.

“It’s not just a group of individuals watching a play, it’s a group experience.”

The show’s kids appeal to the audience’s children, Mum and Mike to the adults and Grandma appeals to all ages.

The show’s cast includes Amy Loughton as Mum, Andy Umerah as Joe, Erika Poole as Grandma, Phil Yarrow as Mike and Sera Mustafa playing Maia.

Way previously was given awards including The Writer’s Guild award for A Spell of Cold Weather, The Arts Council’s Children’s award for Red Red Shoes, and the German Children’s Prize for Missing.

He is a member of the Writer’s Guild, winning The Writer’s Guild award for A spell of Cold Weather .

His previous plays for Polka include Sleeping Beauty, The Night Before Christmas, Playing from the Heart and The Borrowers.

Featured image credit: Steve Gregson

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