Portsmouth Festivities kicks off with a bang

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DANCE, exhibitions, films, plays and outdoor events are among the 10 days of activities planned for this year’s Portsmouth Festivities.

The launch of this year’s festival was held last night, with the organisers inviting friends and partners along to celebrate the start of the 15th annual event.

(  (l-r) Sarah Gee from Filskit, Chairman of Portsmouth Festivities James Priory and Chris Bartholomew lead artist Mozart Remixed, try feather catching at the launch of Portsmouth Festivities 2014.   Picture: Allan Hutchings (141238-263) PPP-140424-202408001

( (l-r) Sarah Gee from Filskit, Chairman of Portsmouth Festivities James Priory and Chris Bartholomew lead artist Mozart Remixed, try feather catching at the launch of Portsmouth Festivities 2014. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141238-263) PPP-140424-202408001

Artists and performers were among those who had gathered at the launch in the University of Portsmouth’s Eldon Building.

This year it will take place between June 20 and June 29.

Ahead of his opening speech James Priory, chairman of Portsmouth Festivities, told The News: ‘We hope there will be something for everyone – there are over 90 events in 10 days.

‘Lots of those are free events and there are also lots that are new for this year’s festivities.

‘We open with the poet laureate, Carol-Ann Duffy, and then later on that evening on Friday, June 20, we are in the cathedral where The Tallis Scholars, one of the world’s greatest a cappella groups are performing.

‘That evening again, at 9.30pm, you can carry on to the dockyard, where you can see a ground-breaking video installation called Faces, which is being inspired by the beginning of the First World War in Portsmouth.

‘It features local people in an installation, close up faces retelling the stories in people’s words from 100 years ago.’

Anthony Cheng, an 18-year-old pianist who grew up in Havant, won last year’s Portsmouth Music Festival.

The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama student will be one of the many performers taking part.

He said: ‘It’s quite nerve-wracking having a concert to myself. I’m looking forward to having the audience watch.’

Sarah Gee, who is 27, from Filskit theatre is working to bring a Feather Catcher projection show to the city.

She said: ‘It’s pretty exciting.’

Tickets will be available from Monday.

Visit portsmouthfestivities.co.uk for more.