The Kings Theatre

 Theatre / Posted 10 months ago by admin / 138 views

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A Theatre of National Importance

In 1907 the Kings Theatre opened its doors and has ever since been a magnet for theatregoers from in and around Portsmouth and Southsea. For 110 years audiences have enjoyed musicals, plays, comedy, opera, dance, talks and film in the sumptuous surroundings of a beautiful Grade II* listed proscenium arch theatre, designated by the Theatres Trust as a ‘theatre of national architectural importance’.

J W Boughton conceived and brought to fruition the building of the theatre which was designed by the notable theatre architect Frank Matcham. The theatre stayed in the control of its original owners, The Portsmouth Theatre Company, until 1964 when it was purchased by Commander Reggie & Mrs Joan Cooper. In 1990 it was sold to Hampshire County Council. In 2001, after a successful campaign by AKTER (Action for Kings Theatre Restoration) to keep the theatre open, the theatre was purchased by Portsmouth City Council and leased to the Kings Theatre Trust Ltd who undertook the restoration of the building, whilst the Kings Theatre Southsea Ltd operated it on a day-to-day basis.

Since 2003 it has been managed by the Kings Theatre Trust Ltd as a voluntary charitable Trust. The Trust has invested over £2.25 million in an extensive restoration programme of this Edwardian playhouse, the majority of costs being met through the Theatre’s own Box Office revenue.

But that’s not all… the Kings Theatre has a vibrant community engagement programme, to make the arts (particularly visual and performing arts) accessible to all. Exhibitions, workshops, theatre tours, summer schools, local/ national/international partner-projects are all an integral part of our work here.

With the purchase of the third shop lying between the Front and Stalls entrance on Albert Road, in 2017, the Theatre’s expansion plans can now move forward.


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Contact details

The Kings Theatre Albert Road Southsea Portsmouth HantsPortsmouth,PO5 2QJ  Show Phone Number

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    will taylor

    (March 28, 2018 - 1:30 pm)

    Kings Theatre Open Day

    Saturday 7 April at 10am – 4pm

    FREE Entry

    For 110 years the Kings Theatre has stood as one of the most iconic buildings in Portsmouth, it has seen off 2 World Wars and has had countless celebrities perform on its beautiful Edwardian stage. On Saturday 7 April it throws open its doors to the public allowing visitors to go backstage and to explore parts of the building that are normally closed.

    The day promises to have something for all the family magic from our very own Magician Peter Randini and unique behind-the-scenes archivist’s trails which tell the history of this amazing Edwardian theatre.

    There will be entertainment on the stage throughout the day including the Kings Youth Theatre, Marie Clarks School of Dance and South Downs Music Society.

    Backstage will have a selection of craft activities and stalls as well as local artists who will be running workshops and displaying their work.

    In the Dress Circle Bar find music and poetry from The Front Room plus cakes and refreshment.

    There will also be the opportunity to take part in Dark Encounters Tour.

    Disappear under the stairwells and corridors of the theatre listening to the stories from the past. Guides will take you beneath the stage to begin the dark tales of haunting, mystery and intrigue originating from the long history of the theatre.

    The Dark Encounters Tour run every hour costing £5

    The Open Day is free to attend however registration is needed, please go to our website to register or visit our box office to secure your admission. Box Office 02392 82 82 82

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