Theatre and arts opened up to public for annual event

Dancers and players from New Theatre Royal performing Words That Move  Picture: Paul Taylor
Dancers and players from New Theatre Royal performing Words That Move Picture: Paul Taylor
The Last Post is sounded    Picture: Keith Woodland

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The arts community in Portsmouth recently joined forces in an event which celebrated the clocks going back.

Thousands of people attended The Found Hour programme on October 24, in which venues across the city hosted a range of activities.

The project was founded by the creative learning manager at the New Theatre Royal, Nic Williams, along with her colleague Bernie Byrnes.

She said: ‘I have had nothing but positive feedback from both the organisers and visitors from the day.’

This year saw more than 40 local artists and organisations participate including the New Theatre Royal, The King’s Theatre and the Portsmouth Music Hub.

Visitors attended tours and took part in a variety of workshops, exhibitions and performances.

These included tours of the local theatres, circus skills and graffiti workshops and performances from local theatre and dance groups.

Ms Williams added: I really enjoyed the Words That Moved performance and the Spinnaker Tower had a rainbow light display for the day, which was also a highlight.’

She believed it was important for local people to get involved with arts events like The Found Hour.

‘It brings the community together and is a fantastic opportunity for local groups to platform their work,’ she said.

‘Portsmouth is a fantastic city for arts and culture and I think there are still so many people who have a preconception that theatre and the arts is for the elite.

‘This event opened up the arts to all, as the majority of the activities were free to attend.’

The event, which is a reinvention of The Lost Hour programme, has been running in Portsmouth for the past six years.

However, Ms Williams said funding will determine whether the event will happen next year.

She added: ‘Each year the event gets bigger.

‘It would be great for schools, theatre companies and venues to get on board too.’