THIS weekend Portsmouth Guildhall will be celebrating its 125th anniversary by getting funky.
Last year Portsmouth Cultural Trust, which runs the Guildhall, hosted the first Funky Town in Guildhall Square, drawing in more than 3,000 visitors. This year the event returns on Sunday, exactly 125 years after the building was opened by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII – but is moving indoors.
Last year’s Funky Town festival was a huge success and we’ve had a lot of interest in it again this year – parents obviously love the fact that it is a free eventMarelize de Beurs, Portsmouth Cultural Trust’s marketing manager
The day will be brimming with activities, including the Bonkers Balloon Show, spellbinding children’s shows with Mimika Theatre, circus skills, street art and dance, workshops for parents and children – from digital illustration and prints to soap making, a Makers Marke and a range of art exhibitions.
Marelize de Beurs, the trust’s marketing manager said: ‘Last year’s Funky Town festival was a huge success and we’ve had a lot of interest in it again this year – parents obviously love the fact that it is a free event.
‘It also looks like Sunday is going to be a cloudy day, so that will hopefully encourage families into the building.’
There will also be a private VIP event on Sunday afternoon, where the current Lord Mayor, Cllr Frank Jonas, will be joined by previous Lord Mayors.
Last month the trust announced a project dubbed Guildhall Renaissance in which it intends to give the building a £15m makeover to expand its capacity and bring it up to date.
What’s going on at Funky Town
* Market and workshops in Main Auditorium: Open all day.
Auditorium: Main Stage and Floor
10.30am-10.50am: Abstract Dance
11am-midday Top Banana Circus
Midday-12.30pm: Bonkers Balloon Show
12.50pm-1.10pm: Bonkers Balloon workshops on Floor
1.30pm-1.50pm: Most Wanted Street Dance
2pm-3pm: Top Banana trapeze and circus skills
3pm-3.30pm: Bonkers Balloon Show
3.20pm-4pm: Bonkers Balloon Workshops
* Harlequin Room
Mimika Children’s Theatre: Landscapes
11am/12.30pm/2pm/3.30pm. Tickets £4, from box office. Recommended for children four to 11.
* Business Lounge
11am-midday: Abstract Dance Workshops
Midday-1pm: Top Banana Workshops: circus/tightwire /rolla-bolla / acrobatics
2pm-3pm: Most Wanted Workshops: street dance
3pm-4pm: Top Banana Workshops
* Main Entrance
Street Art on hoardings by James Waterfield. Families can join in and paint the same dressing rooms that have been used by artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Mumford & Sons.
* Lord Mayor’s Banqueting Room (2nd Floor)
Dark Encounters Speed Murder Mystery: Who Killed the Lord Mayor? 11am / midday / 2pm / 3pm. Tickets £2.50, from box office. Performance lasts about 30 minutes. Recommended for children six and up.