Kings Theatre celebrates 110 years with charity gala

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IT HAS been wowing audiences for more than 100 years.

And on Sunday, the Kings Theatre marked its 110th anniversary with a black-tie gala for Children in Need.

The gala performance was, without a doubt, a wonderfully successful event.

Andrew Wright

The Southsea venue worked in collaboration with the University of Chichester and the Academy of Musical Theatre to put on the show with all proceeds going to the charitable cause.

As well as raising money it was a chance for the theatre in Albert Road, to celebrate its long history and success.

Andrew Wright, director of the show and senior lecturer for musical theatre at the University of Chichester, said: ‘The gala performance was, without a doubt, a wonderfully successful event.

‘The immediate critical response I received from audience members, as they were leaving the auditorium, was that they were bowled over by the professional quality of the performance and the evening as a whole. 

‘I am currently experiencing a state of post-production euphoria, which is the result of so many individuals and organisations offering their time, effort, expertise and talent to allow this remarkable evening to come to fruition.

‘I am grateful to everyone who made this anniversary charity gala possible.’

As part of the show, the audience got to their feet to sing happy birthday to the Kings, led by co-hosts Fred Dinenage and West End star Jack Edwards.

And they enjoyed performances of Cats, from the Academy of Musical Theatre; Wizard of Oz, by the Portsmouth Players; Through the Looking Glass from Kings Youth Theatre and Diamond Show Stoppers along with many others.

Paul Woolf, chairman of the Kings Theatre Trust, said: ‘Since 1907 this remarkable venue has never ceased to entertain the people of Portsmouth and beyond.

‘We played a key role in boosting morale during the First World War, managed to keep our doors open when we could through the Second World War, and have continued to put on a varied programme throughout the years.’