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Birdsong At The Kings Theatre

Marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Birdsong is the hit, critically acclaimed stage show based on the famous novel by Sebastian Faulks.

In pre-War France, a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate and dangerous love affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire as War breaks out and changes every ones lives forever.

The main character, Stephen, leads his men through the carnage of the Battle of the Somme. A group of men faced with unprecedented horror and grief. A totally mesmerising stage show that evokes all sorts of powerful emotion.

Following on from the 2013/14 National tours that were seen by over 130’000 onlookers, Birdsong is back and we are lucky enough to get the chance to take a look at the King’s Theatre in Southsea.

Showings are on until June 5th and tickets are available to buy direct from the theatre. Don’t miss out!

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You Can Now Take Part in Creative Census Portsmouth

Every year, for the last five years, Strong Island has taken on a large creative project aiming to engage with people from all over the city of Portsmouth. We had the Strong Island Exhibition at the Round Tower, the PRIMARY photography project & exhibition, Creating Balance, Creative Cargo and for 2015 we’re running Creative Census.

The creative industries in the UK have grown dramatically in recent years, become a power house of economic growth and innovation in the national economy. As of January 2015 the Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy for the creative industries has increased 25.8% since 2008, with the creative industries contributing £8.8 million to the UK economy every hour*. In recent years the creative sector in Portsmouth has grown dramatically and for the very first time we want to take a measure of the sector in the city.

The first Portsmouth Creative Census aims to measures the size, shape and make up of the creative industries workforce in the city. It also aims to identify emerging trends and question what are the resource needs and funding issues that could benefit the industry by helping it to grow and flourish in the future. The census aims to look at any individual, organisation and business who is either based in the city or works primarily in the city (check the Creative Census website full details on if you can qualify for the census). We need your help to leverage local, regional and national bodies to address your issues and build a stronger creative sector.

The census aims to engage with people working in different creative sectors such as Advertising, Marketing, Architecture, Crafts, Design (product, fashion and graphic), Film, TV, Video, Radio, Photography, IT & Software (including web design & application development), Publishing, Museums, Galleries, Libraries, Music, Performing & Visual Arts and more. If you work within these different strands of the creative industries, we really want to hear from you right now!

Creative Census Portsmouth 2015 in now LIVE, with the census open for contributions from now until August 2015. Once the census is closed we’ll collate all of the data and working with statisticians, experts in the sector and graphic designers we’ll produce a presentation with all of the information created by the census. We aim to release the presentation by December 2015.

To enter the census and find out much more about the project please visit:

www.creativecensus.co.uk

Creative Census Portsmouth Now Open

* DCMS Creative Industries Economic Estimates – January 2015

Doris Long Abseils From The Spinnaker Tower For The Rowans

Doris Long will abseil from Portsmouth’s iconic Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth on 12th and 13th July 2015 and will aim to be the holder of the Guinness World Record for the World’s oldest abseiler.

Doris Long will be 101 on the date of the abseil and will be watched and supported by hundreds of onlookers.

The Rowans Hospice is calling for all dare devils to come and take part in this exceptionally adventurous fundraiser to help raise money and awareness, stating that if Doris can do it, anybody can.

Registration costs £50 and there are only 40 spaces on each day for people to take part. Doris and The Rowans Hospice invite you all to go along and watch the record attempt.

To find out more about this event and others see the Rowans Website or follow them on Facebook.

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Stand Up & Rock! Jasper Carrott And The Bev Bevan Band At The Kings Theatre

Jasper Carrott’s Stand Up & Rock did exactly what it said on the tin last night at the King’s Theatre in lovely Southsea.

Jasper Carrott

Jasper is back touring, mic in hand along with one of his best mates, Bev Bevan, who was part of the infamous band ELO.

Rockin Berries lead singer, Geoff Turton, Celtic Rock Band, Quill’s lead singer ‘Joy’ and the Bev Bevan band belted out old classics including covers of Dusty Springfield, Fleetwood Mac, Status Quo and Marvin Gaye.

The unique show not only revived some totally wondrous old songs but also got some fantastic musicians back on stage performing.

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Jasper performed in Portsmouth as a young comedian and admits it is still one of his favourite spots to visit, also admitting that it sparks some incredible memories of the very stage he performed on last night and urges the community to keep the theatre alive and looked after by supporting it with bums on seats and small donations.

Jasper Carrott

It is great for one of our local historic venues to be so highly spoken of and visited by such brilliant entertainers.

Follow the show on Facebook or visit the official Website for tour dates and show information.

Portsmouth Pride 2015 – Saturday 20th June

Saturday saw Portsmouth Pride officially launch their event with a celebration of securing a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, allowing the event to grow from its small Victoria Park origins. The cities’ first Pride event since 1999 will now feature two distinct celebrations; a family-friendly parade led by a variety of local groups including a ‘Cavalcade of LGBT Characters Through History’ created by the Groundlings Theatre from Guildhall to the common where the parade will join the Portsmouth Pride Variety Show. The show promises to be fun all-family affair featuring two live music stages,  market stalls and information points where you can find out about Portsmouth’s LGBT community.

The organisers are encouraging members of the public to show their support by ‘sending a selfie’ to their Facebook page making sure you include the rainbow colours and as many friends as you can muster. The best images will be featured in a film to be produced after the show so crafty creativity is highly recommended.

As a lasting legacy to Pride, the organisers have also been working with LGBT awareness and inclusion charity Stonewall on a project focussed on local schools to create a network of ambassadors and mentors whose goal is to eradicate bullying and prejudice in whatever form it takes, from racism to disability discrimination. 

You can keep up with events through the Pride Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @portsmouthpride2015.

A Midsummer Nights Dream At The Groundlings Theatre

Portsmouth’s Groundling’s Theatre has this week been transformed into a wooded, magical and glittering set to host Shakespear’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

With productions running all the way from May 7th-May 16th the cast have given nothing but jaw dropping, dramatic and poetic performances which are an absolute must see.

The teasing, inventive and hilarious play with slight undertones of fleeting seriousness is exceptional and the theatre and its wonderful cast of actors and actresses have outdone themselves yet again.

Supporting the countries oldest theatre and one that we are lucky enough to call our local is vital to its continued success and so the team at the Groundlings invite everyone to attend and take part in these wonderful adaptations.

Follow the theatre on Facebook or visit the Website for upcoming performances, dates and times.

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Hilsea Lido Splash Street Art Event This Sunday

This Sunday sees a group of Portsmouth’s finest street artists, including Farkfk, My Dog Sighs, Dharma, Lex Luther and Mimic (amongst others) inject a splash of colour at Portsmouth’s Hilsea Lido. Hilsea Lido is a part of Portsmouth’s architectual and social heritage, now run by a hard working group of volunteers who took it over some years ago after a a long stretch of it being drained and closed. Hilsea Lido Pool for the People work tirelessly on little to no budget to keep it open for the public to enjoy through the summer months.

The artists will be going to work with murals on both the inside and outside walls of the lido. The painting starts at around 10am with the best views of the walls available in the late afternoon when the artists are finishing up. This event sees Portsmouth locals Farkfk and My Dog Sighs collaborate for the first time on a large scale mural on the outside back wall. This bringing together of both of their signature styles is going to be well worth the wait, they’ve been talking about it for almost 10 years.

All the work that takes place on Sunday is on a voluntary basis at the lido, with the artists giving up their own time. If anyone would like to sponsor an artist to help cover some of their paint costs then please get in contact with My Dog Sighs at www.mydogsighs.com.

There is also talk of a BBQ too…see you there!

Photos from a previous street art events up in the city centre by Adam Reeves.

New Theatre Royal Paint Jam - Photo by Adam Reeves (8)

Photos from the Portsmouth Street Art Festival by Adam Reeves (9)

Photos from the Portsmouth Street Art Festival by Adam Reeves (8)

Omega Centre Arts Fair

This Sunday 10th May sees the Omega Arts Centre open its doors to any and all for a celebration of work by local creatives, artists and makers alongside free taster workshops in a variety of mediums.

From 11am till 4pm, the Omega Centre will be hosting an artist-led exhibition with work available to purchase and the chance to talk to the creators of each piece. Covering mediums from photography to printmaking, glasswork and ceramic sculpture, there’s something for all artistic tastes and is a perfect opportunity to pick up original art at affordable prices. If you’re looking to exhibit yourself, stands are a reasonable £15 for the day; those interested should contact the centre here.

If you’d prefer to have a go at creating your own art, the centre tutors will be on hand throughout the day advising, running mini workshops and selling their own work to give you an idea as to what to expect from their tutorials. Food and drink will also be on hand from local businesses, making sure that you’re refreshed throughout the day.

The event is free to the public with equally free on street parking for all attendees.

Creative Census – Measuring the Creative Temperature of Portsmouth

Every year, for the last five years, Strong Island has taken on a large creative project aiming to engage with people from all over the city of Portsmouth. We had the Strong Island Exhibition at the Round Tower, the PRIMARY photography project & exhibition, Creating Balance, Creative Cargo and for 2015 we’re running Creative Census.

The creative industries in the UK have grown dramatically in recent years, become a power house of economic growth and innovation in the national economy. As of January 2015 the Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy for the creative industries has increased 25.8% since 2008, with the creative industries contributing £8.8 million to the UK economy every hour*. In recent years the creative sector in Portsmouth has grown dramatically and for the very first time we want to take a measure of the sector in the city.

The first Portsmouth Creative Census aims to measures the size, shape and make up of the creative industries workforce in the city. It also aims to identify emerging trends and question what are the resource needs and funding issues that could benefit the industry by helping it to grow and flourish in the future. The census aims to look at any individual, organisation and business who is either based in the city or works primarily in the city (check the Creative Census website full details on if you can qualify for the census). We need your help to leverage local, regional and national bodies to address your issues and build a stronger creative sector.

The census aims to engage with people working in different creative sectors such as Advertising, Marketing, Architecture, Crafts, Design (product, fashion and graphic), Film, TV, Video, Radio, Photography, IT & Software (including web design & application development), Publishing, Museums, Galleries, Libraries, Music, Performing & Visual Arts and more. If you work within these different strands of the creative industries, we really want to hear from you!

Creative Census Portsmouth 2015 launches today, with the census open for contributions throughout June to August 2015. Once the census is closed we’ll collate all of the data and working with statisticians, experts in the sector and graphic designers we’ll produce a presentation with all of the information created by the census. We aim to release the presentation by December 2015.

Creative Census Portsmouth is a Strong Island project, in partnership with Portsmouth City Council and the University of Portsmouth. To find out much more about the project please visit:

www.creativecensus.co.uk

Creative Census

* DCMS Creative Industries Economic Estimates – January 2015

Make Your Mark Creative Youth Project with Big World Impact and Making Space

Leigh Park arts organisation Making Space has for the last 6 months or so been working with local youth engagement charity Big World Impact on a project entitled Make Your Mark that engages with local young people in a variety of different creative disciplines. Young people from ages 9 to 19 have taken part in activities such as fashion design, jewellery design and making, photography, writing, textiles and much more, with many of them aiming for different levels of Arts Award qualification at the end of the project.

The end of the project also sees a celebration of the project with much of the work produced by the participants on display at a fashion show and exhibition this Saturday (9th May). From there the exhibition will then be on display to the public at Making Space next week from Monday to Wednesday, 12pm to 6pm.

Strong Island Media was pleased to take part int he project providing photography workshops for different ages groups, exploring the basic composition techniques through to photo walks and studio setups. A few photos from the young people who took part are shown below. Other local art practitioners also took part in the project too.

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Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’ by Sue Pike

I’ve been holding on to this for a while now as I wanted to make a feature of it and had to wait for the exhibition to finish to give it pride of place on the front page. If like myself you’re always looking around at our local architecture you will have noticed many of the buildings within the book Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’. Some could even be right on your doorstep but you have never noticed, or peeked over that high wall. Thomas Ellis Owen’s work is all over the city and you’d be forgiven for walking past as a lot of it is hidden or down those streets you may not stroll down too often. Other buildings however are right in your face. Ever noticed the huge block of flats at the entrance to Waitrose, the detailing on the building at Dover Court opposite the old Havana bar?



“Thomas Ellis Owen is probably the best known of Portsmouth’s nineteenth century architects, his construction of villas and substantial terraces in Southsea being responsible for the emergence of the district as a middle class locality. His work was recognised by Pevsner and Lloyd in their magisterial Buildings of England: Hampshire, and later by a rather more detailed architectural enquiry by two students, Preedy and Stewart. My own research was principally concerned with dating Owen’s properties and analysing their inhabitants. What Sue Pike has done is to cast the net very much wider, not only by providing great detail about Owen’s family, but also by demonstrating the impressive breadth of his activities outside architecture. Indeed, his interests were so wide that there must have been few aspects of Portsmouth’s development in the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s in which he was not involved. Infrastructural fields such as gas supply, the Portsea Canal, railways, the Camber Docks and hospitals lay within his purview, while he assisted in the purchase of land for one of Portsmouth’s defining features, the Palmerstonian forts. His tithe map has proved of inestimable value to local historians. Meanwhile Owen was an important local politician. All these facets of Owen’s life have been fully laid bare in this thoroughly well researched book by Sue Pike, who is to be congratulated on her labours.” Professor Ray Riley

Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’ is a really interesting read and contains stunning colour photos of many Owen properties in Southsea and Alverstoke by Gosport photographer, Tim Martin. There is no real target audience and hopefully it will appeal to old and young alike. The detailed captions may be helpful to first year architecture students but it showcases Southsea well and may well appeal equally to academics, photographers, interested newcomers and people who just want a really nice book to put on their coffee table. I’m a huge fan of both history and architecture so this book is a real winner for me, and I have no doubt that if that’s not really your bag you will still appreciate what Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’ has to offer.

You can purchase a hardback copy for £25 via the publishers www.tricornbooks.co.uk and www.whsmith.co.uk and read up on the book and the author Sue Pike over at www.thomasellisowen.co.uk















NatWest Carved Map

The NatWest Bank in Palmerston Road has an amazing carved map of Portsmouth that I must have walked past on loads of occasions and never really stopped to look at. The map has many local landmarks highlighted plus the islands in both Portsmouth and Langstone harbours. Not sure exactly how old it is. Next time you pass by if you have a moment spare stop and have a look.




Hitler’s reaction to The Registry closing down.

This is just classic. I’ve seen a few others before. I think I saw one about accidentally using Arial instead of Helvetica, funny stuff. This one however is just hilarious, if you know the Portsmouth pub scene. More so if you’ve ever ben a student.

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Illustration – Tristan

Seafront Lights: Adam Wintle

Southsea web designer and photographer Adam Wintle has recently been taking some really nice photos of the Southsea promenade lights and of the pier at night. Be sure to look through his Flickr for loads more great photos.

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Vintage Portsmouth Photographs

Following up from our Vintage Portsmouth Postcards article on Monday, Strong Island reader Centro Design posted a link to some rad old photographs of the city.

As always click read more at the bottom to see a small selection, but be sure to click this link to view all of them online.

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Local Photographer – Marcus Hunt’s

Marcus Hunt has rigged together an amazing radio controlled camera set up with a kite which allows him to capture photos of local places in and around Portsmouth with a unique perspective. Unlike photos from aeroplanes, the kite allows for photos from low altitudes giving way more detail. To see loads more than the photos below be sure to spend some time looking through Marcus’ Kite photo Flickr set.

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Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Following on from photos of The bandstand and Tennis Courts the other week, here’s another scan from Khalid.

Back before East Jet in the late 1940s, early 1950s people flocked to Southsea seafront. Check the beach huts near Canoe Lake. Dozens of them and the Paddling Pool which is now occupied by the Sealife Centre. Love the little train to the right of the picture. Click for a closer look.

The Abrooks

The infamous 1980s Southsea locals Mark & Barry Abrook, doubles on the halfpipe at the skatepark from 1990.

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Portsmouth City Museum

As with so many things that are right on your doorstep, you always say yeah I’ll go do that soon, but never do. Me and Liz had the day off together and rode around a few places before popping to the Museum after saying we’d go for years now.

If you like your local history then I advise going down. Check the Portsmouth City Museum website for more information. Click read more at the bottom for a few more snaps.

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