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Portsmouth Homebrewers Club

Next Tuesday 4th March will see the first meeting of the Portsmouth Homebrewers Club.  It will take place at The Leopold Tavern on Albert Road, Southsea from 7pm.

After the great success of the Strong Island Home Brewing competition and the recent boom in interest for craft beers and home brewing, myself, Stuart and Pete Hughes, brewer at The Brewhouse & Kitchen, are launching the gatherings due to take place once a month at different venues across the city.  The evenings will be an informal get together to discuss all aspects of home brewing including tips and recipe shares under the expert guidance of Pete.  There is no formal agenda planned, although we will be able to look ahead to certain discussions and topics as we go along if anyone wishes to raise an idea.

It’s open to all abilities whether you’ve never even brewed before but are looking to start, right through to the accomplished home brewers.  It’s all about learning new things and sharing the love for beer!

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4th Annual Strong Island Home Brew Competition

Wednesday evening saw the 4th year of the Strong Island Home Brew competition at Little Johnny Russells and we were not disappointed.  The best turnout of any year so far, and the quality was improved across the board to match the strong numbers.

A total of 12 entries were submitted to the restricted brew category with the winner being brewed by Irving & Co. Brewers and 4 entries battled it out in the unrestricted category which saw two lagers go up against two ciders.

An impromptu Best Label Design category was awarded for the evening due to the great detail and effort that had gone into all the labelling, and this was a duly deserved win by Jessica Watson & Chris Bulman for the Tucker’s lager labels.

Milton Pride cider scooped the unrestricted category for their third year in a row, this year being pushed hard by Tucker’s Malt & Maple Syrup and his Treacle & Brown Sugar lagers, as well as Pig & Pirate’s cider entry.

The restricted ale was a very tough choice for the judges Malcolm Irving and Stuart Ainsworth.  Honourable mentions went to Kassassin Street Brewery’s Homegrown and Pig & Pirate’s Darkside Mild.  Third place went to Pig & Pirate’s New World Pale Ale, second place was claimed by Shed Brew for their White S beer and the eventual winner was taken by last years winner also, Tyler Griffin, with his Malaccan Pirate Black IPA.

With his winning brew, Tyler aimed to pay homage to BrewDog’s Libertine Black Ale and the controversial style often referred to as a Black IPA.  The recipe resembles an American IPA with prominent citrus, floral, and piney aromas, but modifies the grain bill via the inclusion of de-husked black malt.  The adjustment conjures an opaque black colour while offering a subtle roastiness to the balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness.  He says he has found that the style affords little margin for error in achieving the correct balance.  The precarious balance gives rise to the name, Malaccan Pirate, which respects the treacherous shipping strait between Malaysia and Indonesia.

Malaccan Pirate will now go on to be brewed by Irving & Co. Brewers in late spring and will debut at Portsmouth Beer Festival before hitting the pumps around Portsmouth & Southsea and surrounding areas.  A huge thank you to all who took part and everyone who has supported the event.  We’re very proud of how the event has developed so far and are very much looking forward to our 5th year next year.

Below are a few photos, visit our Facebook page to see a load more: www.facebook.com/StrongIslandUK




















4th Annual Home Brew Competition – Judging Tomorrow Night

The judging evening for the 4th Annual Home Brew Competition will take place tomorrow, 19th February at Little Johnny Russells, Albert Road and will commence from 7pm. If you are looking at entering just turn up on the evening in good time before 7pm.  You will need 3 bottles of your brew per entry to present to the judges.  There is no entry fee or paperwork!

If you’re not entering, the beers are always up for tasting at the end as well as the other ciders, providing the judges haven’t sunk them all by the end.  For full details on criteria and rules you can read the original post here.  See you tomorrow!

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Portsmouth FC – PompeyPay4aPal

For Portsmouth FC’s upcoming game vs Cheltenham Town at Fratton Park on 8th March, the Fans Conference & Pompey’s 12th Man are appealing for donations to the PompeyPay4aPal scheme.  The scheme gives match day tickets to people who really deserve them.  That could be a keen young supporter whose family just can’t afford it or an unsung hero in the community who has gone the extra mile for other people.

They are asking for Pompey fans to donate a few pounds towards match tickets or even better, if they can buy a match ticket or two. Every single pound given will go to the scheme, so whatever you can afford will make a real difference.  The initiative has raised over £10,000 in the past and continues to aid some very deserving fans who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend a game.  You can donate via Paypal here or at the ticket office in Frogmore Road.

Another great example of the community aspect of the football club, which again demonstrates it has some of the best fans in football.

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Strong Island X PST Tee

4th Annual Strong Island Home Brew Competition

We’re sure you’ve all been brewing away over the Christmas and New Year period ready for 4th Annual Strong Island Home Brew Competition, but if you haven’t fear not!  There is still time for you (just about) to get your brew on.

The judging evening will take place on Wednesday 19th February at Little Johnny Russells, Albert Road and will commence from 7pm. If you are looking at entering just turn up on the evening in good time before 7pm.  You will need 3 bottles of your brew per entry to present to the judges.  There is no entry fee or paperwork!

If you’re not entering, the beers are always up for tasting at the end as well as the other ciders, providing the judges haven’t sunk them all by the end.  For full details on criteria and rules you can read the original post here.

See you next month!

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Strong Island – Portsmouth FC Shareholders

Well we’ve achieved it at last! Strong Island is now part owner of Portsmouth Community Football Club with our very own community share.  After our launch of the Strong Island X PFC design on tshirts back in May, we’ve completed our share purchase as we set out to do.  If we’re honest we achieved the total a long while ago, it’s just taken a while to complete the pledge and then to bring you this news.

Firstly, we’d like to thank everyone who has supported us with this project and also to everyone who has bought the tshirts. The response was truly unbelievable, a genuine reflection of the wider efforts of the city and the community in establishing PFC as a community club and keeping them afloat.  It makes us very proud on a match day to see so many of our designs gracing the stands, knowing that the support received has helped towards sustaining the running of the club.

As we’ve continued to raise money past our share pledge amount, we continue to work closely with fundraising initiatives alongside Pompey’s 12th Man and the Pompey Supporters Trust including the Fratton Park Arts project and many other events planned for 2014.

There has even been huge support from non football fans, Portsmouth people who, even though they don’t follow the team realise what a vital component the football club is to the city in terms of infrastructure, history and city pride. Thank you again for your amazing support on this and here’s to more success in the future. PUP! #WeArePompey

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Strong Island Clothing Co. Collections - Spring 2013 - Strong Island X PFC Tee (1) Fratton Park Art Project - ilovedust Murals

Reedeeng – ‘I Wonder What It’s Like To Be Dyslexic’

Recent design graduate and Southsea resident Sam Barclay, has crafted a book titled ‘I wonder what it’s like to be dyslexic’. Having suffered with dyslexia all his life the book aims to provide readers with a beautiful, design-led experience of what it feels like to struggle with reading.

Sam has turned to Kickstarter to help fund the project and has seen an incredible response so far with over 10% of his target reached within the first 24 hours, [and over 700 shares on facebook] with most donations coming from parents of sufferers, desperate to better understand what their child is going through.

With stunning typography, design has always been at the forefront of the project, however Sam hopes that the message you take away from the book will help others: “Feeling stupid because I couldn’t understand things that came so clearly to others used to be all I knew. Having people around me, including my teachers, family and friends that could even understand slightly how that felt has helped me communicate my frustration and given me the confidence to complete this project.”

Julie Roche, Deputy Head Principle also had this to say about the book: “This book should be put on the compulsory reading list for all training teachers in a bid to eradicate the ignorance that still exists towards Dyslexia”

If you wish to get involved and pledge please visit Sam’s page on Kickstarter here.

 

 

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Leopold Tavern Cider Festival

The Leopold Tavern on Albert Road in Southsea will be holding its second annual cider festival over the weekend of 8th, 9th and 10th of November.  Over 25 ciders will be available at all times including some never seen before specials.

If cider is not your thing then the 10 real ales or 100 bottled beers should cater for even the most discerning drinker.  I’m more of an ale man myself but I can guarantee one of the Strong Island top brass, who happens to be a cider connoisseur, will be dropping in.

Entry is free of course, but the cider isn’t.

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WW1 Remembrance Centre

For all history enthusiasts especially those interested in World War 1, the WW1 Remembrance Centre at Fort Widley is well worth a visit.

Run by Charles Haskell and his team, it has an amazing array if artefacts from the Great War from all over the world including weapons, uniforms, letters, photographs and medals. There is a huge amount of history in there from the local area including belongings and memorabilia from local residents that served in the war.  There is also a reconstruction of a WW1 trench system featuring a mural of No Man’s Land painted by David Evans giving a real insight into how it was for soldiers during the war.  A guided tour with commentary is included on entry, which is well worth it because there’s so much you would miss if you were to go around on your own.

They are currently in the process of adding a cafe and memorial garden, as well as having a study room for group learning, and they are able to accommodate larger groups and schools as well as small groups.  There are a series of temporary exhibitions being held there throughout the year including medals, The Salvation Army and the Football Batallions.

They are open 7 days a week from 10.30am until 6pm.  You can find out more on their Facebook page HERE

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World Seniors Snooker Championship

Former snooker stars past and present are at the Mountbatten Centre for the 2013 World Seniors Championship this weekend.  This is the second year of hosting the competition for Portsmouth after it moved here for the first time last year.

It really is the cream of the crop from past top professionals seeing former World Snooker champions Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, Dennis Taylor as well as Jimmy White and Cliff Thorburn and a host of others.  The tournament is live on Sky Sports from 1pm and the climax to the tournament is today featuring the quarter finals, semi finals and then the showpiece final.

It’s great to see the city attracting big names and big events like this and is even better for snooker fans.  Tickets are available from the World Snooker website.

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Picture: World Snooker

Features

A Kind of Conjuration at the Cellars

You would think witch trails a thing of the distant past. However, during the second world war a woman was tried and convicted under the ancient Witchcraft Act.

A play about the trial was performed at The Cellars at Eastney last week. Local theatre companies New Apollo and Cop The Needle brought audiences A Kind of Conjuration. This hour-long theatre piece, directed by Steve Pitt, featured a group of five actors, and was based on the real-life trial of Scottish medium Helen Duncan in 1944, for events that took place in Portsmouth.

The intimacy of the venue worked well for the subject matter, and enabled the performers and audience to connect in a way that isn’t possible in larger venues. When the judge, played by Christopher Marlowe, addressed the jury during the court scene, he spoke to the audience as if they were the jury, making them feel involved in the action.

Angie Lily was fantastic in the court scene, nipping backstage to change elements of costume in-between each character, resulting in a highly entertaining whirlwind of at least five different characters (and accents) testifying in quick succession. Henry Oastler was on comedic top form for his appearance in the court scene, displaying subtle character traits such as a tuck of the chin, transforming him completely from his other role in the play as a newspaper journalist. James Kirby and Tim Lowe also gave entertaining performances.

Writers Stuart Olesker and John Stanton incorporated excerpts from the original court transcript, adding authenticity to this brilliant piece. A highly refreshing and thought provoking performance.

A Kind of Conjuration will next be performed at the Square Tower on 25th June as part of Portsmouth Festivities. (Doors open at 7pm, performance starts at 8pm). On this occasion the play will be preceded by a monologue from the late Harry Price, ghostbuster extraordinary. Tickets from 023 9282 6249 or 023 9273 6288 or online: www.thecellars.co.uk.

Reviews:

Ashley Harley in Portsmouth News:
“a little gem”
“hauntingly good”
“not to be missed”
“solid direction”

Heather James in Portsmouth News:
“I was riveted”
“very witty and entertaining”

David Richards of Remote Goat:
“a sellout”
“a joy to watch”
“superb performances”
“a very high degree of professionalism”
“a very effective mix of the serious and the comedic”
“another triumph and a thoroughly enjoyable evening”

The original flyer for the show at The Cellars

Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

Our 2014 Calendar was a huge success, the quality of images and huge amount interest it received really took us by surprise. We managed to double the sales of the 2013 Calendar, meaning we raised just over £600 for the Feel Yourself Campaign and the Alzheimer’s Society. We received over a thousand submissions by email and by use of the Instagram hashtag #sic2014.

We are excited to announce that we are taking submissions for our 2015 calendar. If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then you can email your submission via calendar@strong-island.co.uk. If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Along with Instagram this year we also recommend you check out the Faded App. I’ve had a play with this App and you can create images that surpass anything that Instagram can produce. I especially love the overlay function.

If you have been taking any photos during this extreme weather we would love for you to submit them!

You may be aware that unfortunately due to an error our end the original batch of calendars contained a couple of errors. To rectify this the problem with the calendar we re-printed all of the calendars and offered everyone who bought one a free replacement (with free P&P where required). We are confident that we have managed to replace the vast major because of the online ordering records, however if you bought one from Lou Lou’s, Southsea Gallery or the Victorian Market then we don’t have your details so we need you to contact us ASAP to arrange a replacement! Those unclaimed calendars by the end of the week are likely to be donated to the staff of the charities we are supporting

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are just a few of the submissions that we have already received that might give you some inspiration.

Charlie Thompson Fratton Park

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Road To Blissfields 2014 by Sophie Perryer

It’s that time of year again, when Southsea’s finest traipse out on a Friday night to listen to some of our home-grown, burgeoning talent. This year was no exception, with the likes of Becky Jerams, Poppobowa, Sabre and the B of the Bang taking to the stage to fill our ears with a range of musical goodness.

The evening was held this year at the Cellars at Eastney, and certainly had a more relaxed atmosphere – Strong Island’s Stuart Barker was even spotted wandering around with a cup of tea at one point!

The relaxed atmosphere lent itself perfectly to Becky Jerams soulful, syrupy vocals, gliding effortlessly over lyrics and melodies alike. Becky has enjoyed considerable success over the last few years with her song writing: her track ‘La La Love’ was featured in a Mandy Moore movie, and she has written for the likes of Chesney Hawkes and Loz Bridge. These accomplishments certainly showed through in her music; her sound was very much grown up pop and polished, while still retaining a youthful, wishful quality in her lyrics. A great start to the evening.

Becky was followed by Popobawa, a Gosport based trio relatively new to the music scene – so much so that Road To Blissfields was their debut live show! To say the boys coped well would be an understatement; they delivered a strong set with some interesting melodic choices which made for a distinctive sound, and the combination of this with hazy vocals akin to Friendly Fires was very striking. The best part? You can download their EP for a ‘name your price’ on their SoundCloud page.

Also hailing from Gosport were SABRE – the fivesome delivered catchy synth beats and impressive vocals not dissimilar to the Maccabees or Bombay Bicycle Club, with a little Two Door Cinema Club thrown in for good measure. Their raucous sarcastic comedy appealed to the crowd, and the banter between the band members was enjoyable.

Last but certainly not least were the B Of The Bang. The contrast of the almost gravelly voice of the lead singer and the Roxanne on keyboard’s ethereal vocals lent an almost eerie sense. The band delivered well thought-out tracks which were both directional and abstract, and conveyed a sense of their musical versatility and talent. Without a doubt a well deserved victory.

Congratulations to the B Of The Bang“>B of the Bang on their slot at Blissfields, and thank you also to the other artists for once again showcasing to us the quality of our local talent! Thank you too to Bellyeyesmile, Joel Ransom, the Cellars at Eastney, Strong Island, and all those others who had a hand in organising a top evening.

By Sophie Perryer

*We will be giving away a pair of tickets to Blissfields over the next six weeks so be sure to keep an eye out.*

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All photo’s by Daniel O’Neill

Victorious Festival 2014

In January the Victorious Festival team announced that the festival will be moving to Southsea Seafront. The team appear to have planned a bigger and better event building upon the success of previous years.

Last week saw the second wave of artists confirmed to perform live. The line up already consisted of awesome headliners Dizzie Rascal, Seasick Steve but they have now been joined by Razorlight, British Sea Power, Slow Club, Foy Vance, Mark Morriss of The Bluetones and The Bog Rolling Stones. There will be DJ sets from Alt J, Terry Hall of the Specials, 2manyDJs and COR. Not to forget some of the best local talent such as Matt Jarvis, Eloise Keating and our favourites the Southsea Alternative Choir are also performing.

Personally I’m really excited about the Sunday line up, I’ve been a huge fan of Seasick Steve for years and I even went to Bestival dressed as him for the Under the Sea fancy dress theme. Sunday also see’s British Sea Power performing, they have been regular visitors to the Wedgewood Rooms during their tours in the past, most recently in April 2013. They are easily one of the best live acts you could ever have the pleasure of seeing. The Saturday headliner Dizzie Rascal isn’t too shabby. I caught him at Bestival in 2010 and I can promise you, he knows how to put on a show and get you dancing!

There will be more artists announced closer to the time. You can find out first by following Victorious on Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The event is more than just a music festival, there will be lots going on in the Kids Arena as well a Real Ale Festival featuring many local breweries. For the weekend local seafront attractions will be FREE, these include Southsea Castle, Blue Reef Aquarium, D-Day Museum and Southsea Skate Park. If you would like to be involved in the boutique market then drop the team an email on traders@victoriousfestival.co.uk.

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August. There are limited early bird tickets available but hurry as they are only available at the reduced price for the next ten days! Adult Day tickets are currently available for £15 per day and will be £20 after. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets will cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for free.

Over the next five months we will try and keep you up to date on announcements and preview the performers and attractions that you can look forward to.

Victorious Festival 2014

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum

Tricorn: Controversy in Concrete is a brand new exhibition commemorating 10 years since the demolition of this distinct and controversial building that between 1966 and 2004 was a fundamental part of the Portsmouth skyline. The exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum goes far beyond documenting the building from an architectural perspective, although for the first time many, many original drawings, plans and photographs are on display from the building’s architects, much of it for the first time ever. Where this exhibition explores beyond the groundbreaking and (for many) iconic Brutalist architectural design is documenting how it was experienced and used by the people of Portsmouth. The exhibition opened on the 15th and formally had its opening celebration to a capacity crowd on Saturday 22nd.

The exhibition on the ground floor of the museum is loosely arranged in to two areas, with the first section detailing the origins of the building from concept to design and build. As you enter this space the striking architectural plans on the wall are what first catch the eye. The lines and form of the concrete structure can almost take you back in time to the exciting and economically optimistic early 1960s, with the original and then cutting edge design still feeling strangely fresh even now. This is reinforced with the many original pamphlets, magazines and books that show the enthusiasm the project launched with. This part of the exhibition also establishes where the Tricorn sat within the Brutalist movement and also with some other buildings in the city such as Portsdown Park and Portsmouth Central Library, both of which are in the exhibition in the form of architect sketches and models.

The second section focuses on how the people of Portsmouth experienced the structure over the years it stood in the city centre. Part of this section is an incredible collection of posters and artwork from the nightclub but there is also related music, photos and even period clothing giving a sense of how the building was, for a time, a hub for the community. This section also looks at how the building was a creative inspiration for many, including artwork, skateboard decks and in particular, photography. It is in this section the Strong Island community photo panel is located, with over 100 photos capturing the structure in artistic angles and light. This area is also home to some striking work by Jon King and James Earle, both of who explored the building with their cameras throughout it’s demolition. Both areas also contain oral history, with interviews, opinions and memories on the Tricorn from both architect and members of the public. Also in both areas of the exhibition are feedback walls, which welcome comments from people visiting the exhibition. Despite the exhibition only being open for a week these are already full with amazing contributions.

On Saturday 22nd the exhibition was formally opened including attendance by VIPs such as Owen Luder, one of the original architects, plus many people associated with the Tricorn from right back to it’s design and construction through to its final demolition. The event included speeches by Owen Luder, Celia Clark and Councillor Lee Hunt, possibly the most interesting was the story of the Tricorn told by Owen Luder himself. It was fascinating to see how for him the aspirations for the building were in many ways dashed due to an economic turndown happening with an extended delay in securing contracts with key business tenants. Of particular note were his thoughts on how the space itself has been used “54 years on it is back to how it was when I first saw it in 1960, a carpark”.

The exhibition runs through to the 29th June.

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (1)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (2)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (3)

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Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (6)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (7)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (8)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (9)

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Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (12)

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Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (14)

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Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (16)

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Macbeth at the Square Tower

The Scottish play is coming to the atmospheric setting of the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth this week. The Southsea Shakespeare Actors, who performed Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors at the Station Theatre, Hayling Island last November, are swapping tomfoolery and twins for blood and revenge in their production of Macbeth, showing from 12th-15th March.

Rob Bartlett, who plays the title role, tells us why the play is so popular among theatregoers, and what the audience can expect from this production.

This is one of Shakespeare’s plays that most people know at least a little about, whether it be the ‘is this a dagger I see before me’ quote or the infamous character of Lady Macbeth. Why do you think it holds such appeal for audiences?

I think it’s because of the mix of supernatural, unbridled ambition and human weakness – we may not all do what the Macbeths do, but we’ve thought about it! If we were given a supernatural push and told by powers beyond our understanding that it would all be okay, we might just act on those impulses more often.

I also think it’s because Macbeth’s descent into madness is so well observed and written that it makes it utterly compelling, and a joy to play. In one line ranting and in the next line totally lucid. The jerkiness of his thoughts makes it a perfect portrayal of manic behaviour.

The play also barrels along at a heck of a pace – there isn’t the flowery poetry of Romeo and Juliet for example, it’s all plot, character and action. I also think that almost every character gets their moment in the spotlight – Lady M and Mackers obviously, but Malcolm, MacDuff, Lady MacDuff, Banquo and even the Porter get their chance to shine (to name but a few)!

There’s a superstition in the theatre world that it’s bad luck to mention the ‘M’ word on the night of a performance, regardless of the play. What’s that all about?

To be honest I have no idea!!! I talk about Macbeth all the time. I think there was some talk about bad things happening on various productions but to me it seems like a good way to get some publicity! 

You’re performing at the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth – how do you think the setting will lend itself to the atmosphere of the play?

I think it will be brilliant! A big bare stone building, dimly lit with lots of shadows bouncing off the walls, candles – it will be fab. Also by doing it ‘in the round’ the audience will be really close. They will feel like they are in the scene, not just watching it. There will be times where they can’t see the face of the actor who is delivering the lines but that wont matter, a bit like when you are out with a big group of friends. You can’t always see the face of the person talking but you get a sense of what’s going on from everyone around you – and yes, that will include the other members of the audience on the opposite side of the room who can see.

We are doing some scenes with candles, so it will be really dim – really atmospheric!

Can you sum up in one (short!) sentence what we can expect from the Southsea Shakespeare Actors’ version of Macbeth?

It’s up close and personal – be ready to be part of the action!

 

To book tickets go to http://ssa.ticketsource.co.uk/events or find out more about the Southsea Shakespeare Actors at www.southseashakespeareactors.com.