Portsmouth Festivities 2016 kicks off next Friday with Britain’s brightest beacons for new music, the London Contemporary Orchestra. From Friday 17 to Sunday 26 June, Portsmouth plays host to one of the most vibrant summer festivals on the south coast
Opening the Festivities this year will be winner of the ensemble category at the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards 2015, the wonderful LONDON CONTEMPORARY ORCHESTRA. LCO have established itself as one of the UK’s most innovative and respected ensembles, promoting new music and cross-arts collaborations to a wide audience.
The first Saturday of our Festivities will hold in store a unique multi projection, open-air light display spectacular ELECTRIC LUMIERE inspired by this year’s electric theme created by Luxmuralis, incorporating sound and illuminations onto two of Portsmouth’s most historic venues, the Royal Garrison Church and Portsmouth Cathedral. Luxmuralis are a collaborative team combining artists from different backgrounds and artistic disciplines. The primary purpose of Luxmuralis is to take art onto the streets and provide access to visual artwork in public as well as unexpected places.
Sunday 19 June will see dynamic duo INDIA ELECTRIC CO. perform at Old Portsmouth’s historic Square Tower. At the same time at Portsmouth Cathedral will be the prestigious MERTON COLLEGE OXFORD CHAPEL CHOIR, who will be performing a stunning programme of choral music including Bairstow, Esenvalds and Duruflé’s sublime Requiem.
To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, Monday 20 June holds DR NICK WALTON from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, joining us for a lecture on ‘Shakespeare: not of an age, but for all time’.
Tuesday 21 June features another commemorative talk, this time to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. We have one of the UK’s most exciting military historians and authors, Andy Robertshaw, who with a unique hands-on approach to history combines archaeological and experimental techniques with unparalleled archival research and crowd-sourcing to reveal what it was really like to be on the front line of history.
An event directly tying in with our Electric theme this year is British physicist, author, and broadcaster Professor JIM AL-KHALILI’s talk on Michael Faraday’s 1832 paper on electromagnetic induction and its almost immediate effect in transforming our world. Jim is returning to Festivities after having given a fascinating talk about time travel in our 2011 programme.
Thursday night plays host to local Chamber Choir, THE NELSON CONSORT. The eight singer ensemble; with a programme and performance that’s bound to inspire, this is set to be a very special evening.
The highlight of the night of Friday 17 June will be the Silent Movie showing of the German vampire classic, NOSFERATU at Portsmouth Cathedral; with live organ improvisation from Jonathan Eyre we doubt you will ever see a horror in a more appropriate setting or atmosphere.
Saturday 25 June sees the UK’s longest established taiko ensemble, and Europe's only professional touring company of its kind, the MUGENKYO TAIKO DRUMMERS perform a newly devised show at the New Theatre Royal. Mugenkyo's main work is touring a full-length theatre concert, performing at prestigious venues across the country.
Thundering rhythms on huge taiko drums, mysterious masked choreography with inventive lighting, muscular synchronisation timed to perfection, post-apocalyptic martial imagery & infectious belly laugh humour - all in a spellbinding display of sheer athleticism. Feel the energy & experience the power of this unique performance at the New Theatre Royal.
The final day of Festivities has something for all the family in the form of the VEGETABLE ORCHESTRA, where you can learn how to make carrot flutes, courgette castanets, pepper shakers, and much more. Closing the Sunday 26 June will be final of the third annual songwriting competition ALL ABOUT THE SONG in association with Express FM, Portsmouth News and Wedgewood Rooms.
Chairman of Portsmouth Festivities, James Priory had this to say: “I am really excited by this year’s Portsmouth Festivities, especially our Electric theme which has sparked some brilliant ideas for the programme in June. We also have a brand new look this year and are hoping to see even more people attending events and getting involved.”
Festivities Director Erica Smith said: “We have a great line up for 2016 and with the Electric theme to boot it will be a fantastic year in our history. 17 years on, Festivities is going from strength to strength and our passion for placing great events for all in Portsmouth is only growing. No year is ever the same but I think we are striking the right balance with more events than last year.”
So, as you can see we have plenty of events for you to bring along your family and friends and join in the fun as Portsmouth bursts into life with arts and culture this summer!
Discover more about the events taking place during Portsmouth Festivities 2016 at portsmouthfestivities.co.uk