All aboard for the Portsmouth Festivities

Arthur's Dream Boat
Arthur's Dream Boat
Portsmouth Players in rehearsal for The Full Monty

Portsmouth Players dare to bare as they go The Full Monty at The Kings Theatre

Have your say

The summer weather is finally making fleeting appearances and it’s the time of year again when Portsmouth rings with the sound of musicians playing and actors in character.

The annual Portsmouth Festivities runs from June 21-30 this year with a mix of concerts, talks, plays, dance and music.

On Friday Matthew Sharp and The Sacconi Quartet will present Death’s Cabaret – A Love Story at the David Russell Theatre, Portsmouth Grammar School. A performance about the all-consuming nature of love, the score has been written by composer Stephen Deazley and award-winning writer Martin Riley.

All-male group, The King’s Singers, will perform in the Anglican Cathedral on Saturday, June 22, with music from the Renaissance period to folk songs.

There’s been a lot of interest in the Tudor warship, the Mary Rose, recently as the multi-million pound museum at the Portsmouth City Dockyard opened. And to celebrate there will be a musical telling the story of the iconic ship, Ahoy! Sing For The Mary Rose, at Portsmouth Guildhall on Monday, June 24.

Written by composer Alexander L’Estrange, the story is told through sea shanties, Tudor music and Shakespearean verse. Mock The Week and Outnumbered actor Hugh Dennis, who lives locally, will feature in the performance.

Keeping with the theme of world premieres, the New Theatre Royal will host Dysconformity at the David Russell Theatre, Portsmouth Grammar School, on Tuesday, June 25.

The Portsmouth Military Wives Choir has performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert and contributed to the Military Wives Choir’s album, In My Dreams. On Wednesday, June 26, the group will perform a range of songs at Portsmouth cathedral.

Also in the cathedral will be a 300th anniversary celebration of the music of Arcangelo Corelli by Orpheus Britannicus on Thursday, June 27.

Head down the rabbit hole with Alice In Wonderland – An Extraordinary Adventure at The Royal Marines Museum on Wednesday, June 26, while Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells for Two is being performed on Thursday, June 27.

A shoal of fish attempt to escape a fisherman in Tinder Theatre’s Gills and Gulls, at Canoe Lake on Sunday, June 23, Castle Fields, Southsea on June 29 and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on June 30.

A prime minister dies at the hands of his brother. His son is thrown into a spiral of confusion and the killer struggles with his guilt as trouble brews in the streets – Shakespeare’s Hamlet is getting a contemporary twist by the Southsea Shakespeare Actors from June 24-29.

The production is at Portsmouth Royal Naval Yacht Club from June 24-25 and the Portsmouth Pyramids Centre from June 26-29.

The Homemade Orchestra presents Centrally Heated Knickers at the Kings Theatre, Southsea, on Friday, June 28, and the Portsmouth Festivities is teaming up with the Portsmouth Dance Initiative from June 22-29 to put on the ImPact Dance Festival.

Children can also get involved as Longnose Puppets presents Arthur’s Dream Boat at the David Russell Theatre on Saturday, June 29. Arthur has an amazing dream about a beautiful boat, and then it all starts to happen in real life.

For more information about events and tickets for the Portsmouth Festivities go to

Festivities timetable

The King’s Singers

Saturday, June 22

Portsmouth Cathedral

Gills And Gulls

June 23-30

Canoe Lake/Castle Fields/
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Ahoy! Sing For The Mary Rose

Monday, June 24

Portsmouth Guildhall


June 24-29

Royal Naval Yacht Club/The Pyramids Centre

Alice in Wonderland - open-air theatre

Wednesday, June 26

Royal Marines Museum

Portsmouth Military Wives Choir

Wednesday, June 26

Portsmouth Cathedral