Three decades of top service to The Kings

Sandra Smith, from the Kings Theatre, receives the Woman in the Arts award
Sandra Smith, from the Kings Theatre, receives the Woman in the Arts award
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It has never really been in doubt that Sandra Smith is a wonder woman.

But now it’s official after she took the gong for Woman in the Arts at The News’ Woman of the Year Awards.

The 69-year-old is a familiar face to visitors to The Kings Theatre, in Southsea, where she has been publicity and bookings manager for nearly 30 years.

She said she was shocked to have been nominated for one of the prestigious awards, which took place on Thursday.

The glamorous mum-of-two, from Hayling Island, said: ‘I’m truly flabbergasted.

‘So many people do fantastic things at the theatre, including volunteers, I’m just doing my job.

‘There is no doubt that I absolutely love my job though.

‘I work with lovely people and get to meets lots of lovely people.

‘When you’re in the theatre and there is a house full of people, it is perfect. It’s pure escapism. You can forget everything else, it’s just wonderful.

‘Long live The Kings!’

Sandra was one of four who made it on to the shortlist.

She stood out thanks to a glowing nomination by Ian Pratt, vice-chairman of the Kings Theatre Trust, who said: ‘She has seen the theatre through the good times and the bad times, and her dedication, enthusiasm and drive have never wavered.

‘She works with such flair and ability with a huge range of organisations around the city, including The News. She knows everyone. And everyone appreciates her huge abilities and passion for Portsmouth and the Kings Theatre. She is a wonderful person, and deserves recognition.’

From looking after panto stars over Christmas to arranging educational events, Sandra is always on hand to promote the theatre she loves.

The highly commended place in the category went to Helen McCusker, from Waterlooville.

She set up Booked PR to represent authors and set up an author workshop on Hayling.