Umbrellas in summer at Groundlings

The Umbrella Festival at Groundlings Theatre is a free performing arts event.
The Umbrella Festival at Groundlings Theatre is a free performing arts event.
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Groundlings Theatre are getting into the summer festival spirit with a unique free performing arts event.

The Umbrella Festival, which features top performers and free workshops, takes it’s inspiration from an unusual local figure.

Groundlings artistic director Richard Stride said:‘We took inspiration from the history of the building and its site. In 1712 Jonas Hanway was born on the site of Groundlings and he is the man charged with popularising the Umbrella. We love to celebrate the history that we have on offer at the theatre and what better way to showcase that rich history then by showcasing a variety of art forms under one umbrella.

‘We have a variety of performers including some workshops such as Origin de Brazil and Finnigans Wake to get the public involved. With our own Summer School this week they are working hard to put on a performance based on the Lion King at the event and there will be stalls to showcase other art forms too.

‘We hope that the festival will help showcase how much talent we have locally and bring a larger awareness to Portsmouth. There’s so much talent on our doorstop and we should be embracing and supporting it. It’s also a great way to give the local community a fun, free event and show them that the arts and theatres are not a scary place to go and can be enjoyed by all.’

The Umbrella Festival takes place tomorrow and Sunday, 11am–5pm at Groundlings Theatre, Kent Street. Call (023) 9273 7370 or visit for details.