Polka Theatre Snow Queen Cast Visit Ronald McDonald House Tooting

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The cast of The Snow Queen, appearing at Polka Theatre in Wimbledon this Christmas, has brought a little bit of festive magic to families with a sick child in hospital.

On Wednesday 20 December, the performers dropped into Ronald McDonald House Tooting, where they met families staying at the House.

Gerda (Rebecca Wilson), Kai (Finlay McGuigan) and the Snow Queen herself (Phoebe Naughton) were among the characters who came to do drama games and sing songs from the family-friendly production. They brought with them a sprinkling of glitter and sparkle to put a smile on the faces of parents and siblings of patients being treated just across the road, at St George’s Hospital, London.

House Manager Rachel Tween said: “We were thrilled to welcome The Snow Queen actors to the House and thank them for taking time out of their busy show schedule to bring some much-needed magic and joy to our families.

“Christmas can be a particularly hard time when you have a seriously ill child in hospital. At the House, we try to enable families to enjoy the seasonal traditions they’d be doing at home, whether that’s watching a Christmas movie together, playing a family board game, or taking in a festive show. It’s so important they’re still able to make memories, even when they’re far from home.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities UK is an independent Charity, which operates 14 Houses across England, Wales, and Scotland, providing free ‘home away from home’ accommodation and support for families with a sick child in hospital. The Houses keep families together, close to their children on the ward. They provide a place to sleep, cook and retain some sense of normal life; a lifeline for families at a very stressful time, especially when they are far from home. A Ronald McDonald House saves each family an average of £1,240 in out-of-pocket accommodation expenses.

The Snow Queen, written by Jude Christian (‘Hamlet’‘Dick Whittington’, National Theatre, ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’, Lyric Hammersmith) based on the classic story by Hans Christian Andersen, is directed by Emma Baggott, and stars Finlay McGuigan (‘The Tempest’, Regents Park Open Air Theatre and Unicorn Theatre), Joe Boylan (‘Accidental Death of An Anarchist’, Theatre Royal Haymarket; ‘I Want My Hat Back’ Little Angel Theatre), Paula James (‘The Lost Spells’, UK tour; ‘The Wind in the Wilton’s’, Wilton’s Music Hall), Phoebe Naughton (‘Comedy of Errors’, Shakespeare’s Globe; ‘The Wonderful World of Dissocia’, Theatre Royal Stratford East) and Rebecca Wilson (‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’, National Theatre UK tour).

The fantastical family adventure tells the story of Gerda, who is on the magical quest of a lifetime. Her best friend Kai has disappeared with the mysterious Snow Queen, and if Gerda doesn’t rescue him soon, he’ll be trapped in an endless winter forever.

Fran Chabrel, Community Engagement Managerat Polka Theatre said: “Our show brings to life Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale with songs, spectacular storytelling, and a flurry of mythical magic. It was a real privilege to bring a little bit of our wintry wonderland of imagination to families staying in the Ronald McDonald House. While they may not be able to get out to the theatre this Christmas, to bring the fun of the show to these wholly deserving children and their parents was such a pleasure. 

Ronald McDonald House Tooting helps keep families together by providing free accommodation close to St George’s Hospital. The House offers a safe and comfortable place for families with a sick child in hospital to stay for as long as they need and provides all the creature comforts that you would find in a family home. The House has eight ensuite bedrooms, a communal kitchen, laundry facilities and a lounge area, enabling them to retain some semblance of normality during a traumatic time.

To support the Charity by purchasing a virtual Christmas gift, go to:  www.rmhc.org.uk/virtual-gifts To find out more about Ronald McDonald House Charities UK, visit: www.rmhc.org.uk.

The Snow Queen is aimed at ages six-12 years and runs until Sunday 21 January 2024. Tickets are still available via www.polkatheatre.com or call 020 8543 4888.

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