New acts have been a success for Portsmouth Festivities

ARTISTIC Diana Wren with some of her work. Picture: Sarah Standing (131754-9740)
ARTISTIC Diana Wren with some of her work. Picture: Sarah Standing (131754-9740)

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THERE are only days to go till Portsmouth Festivities puts on its big finale.

So far the festival has had a year to remember with hip-hop dancers, an art trail and school performance stealing the show over the weekend.

A variety of events were available to families this year with many making a debut in the 10-day festival.

The Spice Island Art Trail was a high success with over 300 people venturing through Old Portsmouth to discover local artists.

They saw many exclusive creations including paintings from schoolchildren which were housed by the Round Tower.

The weekend also saw Breakin’ Convention; a London-based hip-hop dance crew.

They took over Gunwharf Quays on Saturday and offered free workshops for people to learn their moves.

Rebecca Parrant, organiser at Portsmouth Festivities, said: ‘The weekend was just amazing.

‘We had so many things going on, each one different but still interesting.

‘It was the first few days of the festival so things could have gone slow but they didn’t.

‘The Spice Island Art Trail was particularly good and we had more than 300 people turn up which was great.

‘The artists transformed their venues and attracted people of all ages to join in with the trail.

‘The judges found it hard to pick a winner which shows the high calibre of talent we have in Portsmouth.’

Rebecca also highlighted a performance by Portsmouth Grammar School.

Pupils presented The Exonerated and Rebecca said it was an sell-out. She added: ‘The performance was intimate and stunning.

‘It was a great end to a day of events.’

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Christopher Hitchens Memorial Lecture. Following years in the Diplomatic Service, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles offers an account of his time working in the Foreign Office and Afghanistan. St John’s College Auditorium, Grove Road South, Southsea, midday. Admission free but ticket required, limited capacity.

Reading Enterprise. A workshop for young people exploring enterprise with an ethical twist. Led by Professor Francis Antonie (World Economic Forum) and Francis Davis (from think tank ResPublica). St Thomas’ Cathedral Innovation Centre, Old Portsmouth, midday. Admission free, ticket required.

Lunchtime Live Organ Recital. With Henry Fairs. St Thomas’ Cathedral, High Street, Old Portsmouth, 1.10pm. Admission £5, concs.

St John’s College Apollo Society presents Sherlock Holmes – A Worldwide Phenomenon. Michael is senior archivist at Portsmouth Museums, Archives and Visitor Services (Portsmouth City Council) and curator of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection. St John’s College Auditorium, Grove Road South, Southsea, 6pm. Admission free but ticket required.

The Etymologicon with Mark Forsyth. A stroll through the connections of the words we use every day. The David Russell Theatre, Portsmouth Grammar School, High Street, Old Portsmouth, 6pm. Admission £11, concs.

Alice in Wonderland – An Extraordinary Adventure. An open-air performance. Presented by Heartbreak Productions. Royal Marines Museum, Eastney Esplanade, 5pm. Admission £12, concs.

Hamlet. The Glass House, The Pyramids Centre, Clarence Esplanade, 7.30pm. Admission £10, concs.

The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Six stories and just one day for a collection of local schools to decide how the tales should be told. Kings Theatre, Albert Road, Southsea, 7.30pm. Admission £7, concs.

Portsmouth Military Wives Choir. St Thomas’ Cathedral, High Street, Old Portsmouth, 8pm. Admission £8, concs.

Django Unchained (18); 8.30pm. By Quentin Tarantino. Pop-up Open Air Cinema. Southsea Castle, Clarence Esplanade. Admission £5.