Fun-packed glimpse of life backstage at Kings open day

Pupils from Cliffdale Primary Academy

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FAMILIES were given the chance to look behind the curtain and get backstage during a theatre’s open day.

The Kings Theatre in Southsea rang with the sound of laughter, song and dance as visitors were treated to a variety of workshops, performances and tours throughout the iconic building.

Miranda Tree (11), mum Kate Tree, and Martin Tree from Fareham take to the stage at the Kings.'''Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (14132-10)

Miranda Tree (11), mum Kate Tree, and Martin Tree from Fareham take to the stage at the Kings.'''Picture: Ian Hargreaves (14132-10)

Families got a rare chance to visit the dizzying heights of the fly-floor where ropes are used to bring scenery on and off the stage, peek into actors’ dressing rooms and explore beneath the stage

Jessica Whitehouse, 16, from Hayling Avenue in Baffins, pictured right with Ian Pratt, had a go at pulling the ropes on the fly-floor. Jessica said ‘It’s amazing getting to go behind the scenes.

‘The ropes on the fly-floor are really heavy. I couldn’t picture pulling them as a job.

Children and parents tried on costumes and stage make-up, featuring glamorous makeovers and grisly special effects courtesy of Figura Hair and Beauty on Albert Road.

Salon owner Vanessa Anderson said: ‘We’ve been doing stage make-up all day, it’s been really busy.

‘Even the girls have been keen on looking really disgusting although some of them thought it looked too realistic!

Luke Saunders, seven, from Waterlooville sported a particularly gruesome-looking injury and was thrilled with his experience at the open day.

Luke said: ‘It was really good fun. My favourite thing was the make-up, I love it because it’s really gross.

‘I’d like to take it into school and show my friends.’

Throughout the day visitors took part in workshops on the main stage including stage combat, drama, choreography and African drumming.

There was also the opportunity for children to get involved in a creative writing workshop and create stories.

The best entries won tickets for a show of their choice at the Kings and will be printed in The News later this week.

Almost 400 people attended the open day and among them were Miranda Tree, 11, from Snowdon Drive, Fareham and her brother Martin Tree, 15, both budding actors from the Ashcroft Youth Theatre.

Miranda said: ‘Going beneath the stage was my favourite bit of the day. It makes theatre more fun seeing behind the scenes.’ Martin was also inspired after a chance to walk out on the Kings’ stage: ‘I’d love to perform here one day,’ he said.