For the first time Portsmouth Guildhall will open its huge bronze doors and give families the chance to experience a fun open day – and its free.
On Sunday from 11am until 4pm, the iconic venue will host a range of circus-themed activities.
There will be circus performances on stage, circus workshops, children’s theatre and the chance to play with musical instruments, in partnership with the Portsmouth Music Hub.
Love Southsea and Team Locals will take over the basement and fill the area with talented young people displaying and selling their fashion, craft and art products.
Cirque Bijou, from Bristol, will perform shows including a wheel artist, an aerial artist and two jugglers. Then, there will be an opportunity for people to develop their own circus skills under the guidance of the members. Performances take place at midday and 2pm, followed by a 40-minute workshop.
Other activities include face painting for children, circus -style stalls, a photo booth and a caricaturist. Dark Encounters will also be telling horrible stories about Portsmouth’s notorious characters from the Victorian era.
Children will get the opportunity to experience Mimika Theatre as it performs Landscapes. There will be three shows at 11.30pm, 1.30pm and 3pm. Tickets must be booked in advance on (023) 9282 4355.
Visitors to the Guildhall will be able to participate with the Abstract Dance and Performing Arts Company, which will be hosting a series of dance workshops throughout the day.
People of all ages can try a taster class in ballet, tap and modern, and take part in a street dance workshop in the afternoon.
The Zodiac Gallery will host a free exhibition featuring the work of the late, great designer Storm Thorgerson, who created album covers for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney and Muse.
The family open day, which is supported by The Bishop’s Group and Wave 105, will coincide with the completion of the £120,000 refurbishment of the building, which is permanently opening the big bronze doors at the front of the building.
The Portsmouth Room, a free space for meetings, will also be officially opened after being refurbished.
The day is free, apart from tickets for Mimika Theatre. Call (023) 92 824355 for more information about the activities.