MANY people who go to the theatre dream of going behind the set and discovering how the magic comes to life.
And their curiosity was satisfied at the weekend as The Kings Theatre, in Southsea, threw open its doors to those wanting to learn more about what happens behind the curtain.
Tours of the historic building, drama, singing and dance workshops, make-up classes and a crash course on how to operated the stage lights were just some of the activities laid on for guests.
Visitors also got the option of being put in stage make-up to help them get into character.
Presentations were given on the venue’s restoration project and history – and to finish it all off The Portsmouth Players performed a snippet of their upcoming production Hairspray.
Lisa Trevithick, 33, of Copnor, Portsmouth, had a great time with her sons Jayden, five, Hudson, 19 months, sister Kerry Partridge, 31, and mum Susan Partridge, 52.
Lisa said: ‘It’s nice having a look around the theatre, and it’s nice seeing all the different amateur dramatic companies and theatre groups there are around Portsmouth.
‘The Kings Theatre was part of my childhood.
‘I went to the theatre growing up and been involved with The Portsmouth Players. It’s nice to support the local theatre.’
Dan Hawkes, the theatre’s community engagement assistant, organised the annual open day, which is normally held around this time of the year.
‘It’s a day where The Kings gets to show off behind the scenes,’ he said.
‘The response has been fantastic.
‘I have always wanted to see what happens behind a movie set, and this is what people were able to do here.
‘It gave people the chance to see parts of the theatre they hadn’t seen before, they could go everywhere, anywhere was open.’
Around 300 visitors turned up throughout the day.
Bill Taylor, the theatre’s education director, said: ‘It was great to see so many young people. They are the future of the theatre.
‘They were able to get experience on the stage; it gives them confidence.
‘It’s always a pleasure to see young people performing and just enjoying being in the theatre.’