Bumper line-up announced for Portsmouth Festivities

Portsmouth Festivities parade 2014
Portsmouth Festivities parade 2014
Lucie Jones and David Barrett in Legally Blonde. Picture by Robert Workman

REVIEW: Legally Blonde at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

  • The Portsmouth Festivities are back for their 16th year
  • There will be more than 70 events – many of them free – over 10 days in June
  • Tickets go on sale on Monday
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From techno-Celtic music on the deck of HMS Warrior to a specially commissioned dance spectacular, with plenty of films, plays and exhibitions as well, there is a bumper line-up in store at this year’s Portsmouth Festivities.

The festivities, now in their 16th year, will be playing host to more than 70 events across the 10-day run from June 19 to 28.

We have seen an increase in audience numbers each year, and in the number of performers taking part – it’s a festival that the city is proud of and rightly so

Festivities chairman James Priory

And organisers say there will be something for everyone in the city’s flagship arts festival, with many of the events being free to watch or participate in.

Festivities chairman James Priory has been at the helm since 2008 and said: ‘There’s no doubt the festivities have grown in profile and reach, which has been really satisfying for everyone involved.

‘One of the biggest changes behind the scenes has been the increase in the number of creative and educational partnerships.

‘The festivities benefit from being a partnership which so many organisations across the city are involved in. It has helped generate and shape the programme – and then to deliver it.

‘It is an ambitious programme, so it relies on that support.

‘We have seen an increase in audience numbers each year, and in the number of performers taking part – it’s a festival that the city is proud of and rightly so.’

Opening the Festivities will be the London Mozart Players who will be joined by Laura van der Heijden, the West Sussex cellist who was the winner of the 2012 BBC Young Musician of the Year competition.

Among others appearing are acclaimed author Andy Mulligan, National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke and internationally renowned a cappella superstars The Swingle Singers – along with many more inspiring thinkers, creators and performers.

The centrepiece of the festivities will be the world premiere of a large-scale dance spectacular, created with Stopgap Dance Company and Curious Space.

The Seafarers brings together professional and community dancers to tell the story of shipbuilding in Portsmouth through music and motion.

The Peatbog Faeries will be putting on a unique gig on the deck of HMS Warrior. Their fusion of folk, electronica, rock and jazz with traditional Celtic music has seen them win the prestigious Live Band of the Year title at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

Booking for the festivities opens on Monday.

For more information go to portsmouthfestivities.co.uk