Your chance to stand in the spotlight or peek backstage

Step on stage at the Kings Theatre open day
Step on stage at the Kings Theatre open day
Portsmouth & Southsea railway station by Andy Cooper

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Whether you dream of standing in the spotlight, peeking at the stars’ dressing rooms or getting elsewhere behind the scenes, there’s something for everyone at the Kings Theatre Open Day.

The Edwardian theatre in Albert Road, Southsea is throwing open its doors for a fourth annual open day tomorrow.

The Kings Theatre in Southsea

The Kings Theatre in Southsea

The aim is to allow families and theatre enthusiasts an access-all-areas ticket to see the workings of the theatre. From the stars of the shows to set design and building restoration, all aspects of day-to-day life in the 105-year-old theatre will be covered.

Visitors can even find out how they can get involved with the theatre when this special day is over.

There will be technical tours to reveal secrets from behind the scenes and professional workshops to encourage budding performers and improve their skills.

All ages, abilities and interests will be catered for in the event which, runs from 10am to 5pm.

Fun on and off stage with include a special tour celebrating 200 years since the birth of Charles Dickens in Portsmouth.

These Dickens Stories Tours will travel round some of the lesser-used passageways of the theatre, stopping in two different performance spaces to see extracts of Nicholas Nickleby, performed by the Kings Youth Theatre, and David Copperfield, performed by One Off Productions.

There will also be activities and a question-and-answer session with the cast, as part of the tour that covers the life of Charles Dickens and his association with Portsmouth.

Other tours will focus on the theatre’s history and restoration, the technical workings of the theatre and there will be special family friendly tours to cater for all ages. The tours will be running throughout the day every half hour.

Meanwhile, on stage will be various professional-led workshops including sessions with Little Limelight Lovers and Aspire Dance Stars and Manic Master Classes in commercial dance and theatrical dance.

Kings Youth Theatre is inviting visitors to try their hands at stage fighting and combat, while Portsmouth Philharmonic Orchestra wants people to bring their own instruments and join in its workshops.

Also on stage will be set design models and representatives from The Learning Place and Portsmouth Self-Advocacy Group will be holding workshops.

There will be special showcase performances from the Portsmouth Philharmonia, Solent City Choir and the cast of David Copperfield from the Dickens Stories Tours.

And, in various other corners of the theatre, visitors can join lessons in how to sing and sign, activities with the Sustainability Centre, and see performances from the Solent City Choir and Flute It.

Kings Theatre education co-ordinator Oliver Laurenson-Gore says: ‘The open day is about experiencing all areas of the theatre and exploring parts that are not normally open to the public. Visitors can get underneath the stage, in the dressing rooms and up on stage or on the fly floor.

‘We hope there’s something for everyone.’

Tickets cost £3 per person and £8 per family in advance from (023) 9282 8282 or £5 per person and £12 per family on the door on the day. Kings Card holders get in FREE.

Tours and workshops can be booked in advance to avoid disappointment on the day.