Delight as families explore Portsmouth theatre's hidden history

POTENTIAL future stars of the stage seized the chance to peek behind the curtains at an historic theatre's open day.

Monday, 9th April 2018, 7:00 am
'Gig Buddies' perform on stage at the Kings Theatre Open Day.

From the upper balconies of the gods to the chambers underground, families toured The Kings Theatre in Southsea on Saturday.

Billed as a chance to see first-hand the 110-year-old building’s history, theatre bosses hoped it could ‘inspire’ future generations of stars.

Young Jack Martin, 11, was with his mum Clair, 40, of Hurstville Drive, Waterlooville, delving backstage.

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Jack, a Year 7 Horndean Technology College pupil, said: ‘They let us interact with a lot of the stuff – we went backstage and used the smoke machine, which was pretty cool.’

Clair added: ‘We’ve been to the panto here are few times, I really love the building. It’s nice to come here and explore rather than just be here to watch a show.’

Theatre-lovers spent time sitting in the boxes watching performances from groups including Kings Youth Theatre and Fine Voice Academy.

Hatice Uluduz, 41, had brought along her daughter Arya, nine, from their home in Norton Road, Southsea, to take a look around. Little Arya said: ‘I had really good fun – I really liked the songs.’

A costume sale was held in the Irving Room, with artists and craft in dressing rooms.

Gill Simmons, from Kings, said: ‘It’s really great there’s children here who have never been to the theatre before, seeing them running on stage – it may inspire someone.’