IT has been a focal point of Portsmouth’s creative arts scene for more than 150 years.
Now The New Theatre Royal, in Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, is inviting people to make their mark on the venue’s history by writing on the theatre’s memories wall from Friday.
The Make Your Mark initiative gives theatre fans, volunteers, historians and anyone with a passion for the venue to sign their names or draw a memory of their time at the theatre.
The board will be displayed in the theatre when it reopens in 2014 following an extensive refurbishment.
Caroline Sharman, director of the New Theatre Royal, said: ‘We’re incredibly excited to invite the community to Make Their Mark on the theatre’s history.
‘Rather than bring a celebrity to cut the ribbon, we felt it was important to make the community part of it.
‘We want people to come in and start writing on a big piece of card – it’s going to go in the heritage part of the theatre.
‘In an ideal world, I would photograph everyone who has written their names on it and then look back in 30 years time and see who was a part of it.’
The large board will be available in the foyer Monday to Saturday from 10am to 2pm.
The theatre is also holding a free celebration of drama, song and dance on February 20 at 7.30pm. Past performers will come together and events will take place around the theatre.
Guests will be treated like stars on the red carpet with a glass of champagne and can go into the backstage area, which will be transformed by local artists and young people.
The dressing rooms, which are currently portable cabins, will be destroyed in the evening to mark the beginning of the theatre’s rebuild.
Ms Sharman added: ‘Because we are starting the development, we feel that the theatre wouldn’t be around if it hadn’t been for the groups and volunteers here.
‘We want to take all those people into the new build.
‘It’s really important because if we hadn’t been rescued the theatre wouldn’t be here.’
To book your free tickets for the celebration on February 20, call (023) 9264 9000.
Or visit newtheatreroyal.com