POMPEY fans will be hoping their team isn’t falling on Hard Times on Saturday, even though the Blues’ Fratton Park clash with Exeter will be an epic Tale of Two Cities.
Instead, their Great Expectations will be for a Pompey win – and they’ll be treated to a taste of Charles Dickens’ works at the same time.
One of Portsmouth’s best-known sons, Dickens’ works are being showcased in various locations where they may not usually be heard or read.
It’s a project called Pop Up Dickens, and is organised by the Portsmouth Museums team.
On Saturday, at half-time, actor Lauren Potter will read extracts from Dickens’ works as well as tell the crowd a little bit about the great man’s life story and his connections with the city.
The reading will take place pitch side and will be beamed to the new big screen, which will also make its debut that day, so everyone in the stadium can see.
Sarah Cheverton, a writer and manager of the Pop Up Dickens project, said: ‘We’re delighted and excited to be taking our project to Fratton Park.
‘We have had tremendous feedback when we have performed in other locations, but this is our biggest stage yet.’
And she revealed she hoped the crowd would join in with a special rendition of the Pompey Chimes, adapted for the occasion.
‘Dickens is such an important literary figure and we are sure the Pompey crowd will want to acknowledge the city’s connections with him.
‘At the end of Lauren’s reading we want the fans to join in with a special version of the chimes, which will go: “Play on Dickens, Dickens Play On”.’
Pompey’s engagement manager Micah Hall added: ‘At the club we are not only proud of our own heritage, but we share in the pride of all things great about Portsmouth. When we were approached to host this event we were very pleased to do so.’