Strong Island Co.

Theatre and Dance

The Movement Initiative | Studio Open Day

Tomorrow the local dance company The Movement Initiative (TMI) are having an open day in their new home on Milton Road. Everyone is welcome to pop in and talk to them about the company, take part in classes or to see the company perform to show a taste of what The Movement Initiative provides. There will be free taster classes plus drinks and snacks available.

TMI was established in 2015 and aims to make dance related activities accessible to everybody no matter what age or ability. TMI believes that everybody should have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of dance. The studio offers dance classes or a large variety of disciplines including Hip-Hop, Break dance, Tap, Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Musical theatre, fitness classes, pole dance classes, contemporary dance.

The new studio is 259m² and renovated by members of TMI making it is fresh new space. The ticket sales from the company’s ‘Celebrate’ show held last month at the Kings Theatre has contributed to the development of the studio.

The studio opens at 10am and the full schedule is below.

10am Display by Young dream Chasers
10.15-10.45 U12 beginner street dance taster
11.00-11.15 Pre school baby Ballet taster
11.30 Display by TMI Contemporary company
11.45-12.15 Contemporary Taster
12.45-13.30 Movers taster (40+)
14.00-14.30 12+ beginner/intermediate street dance taster
15.00-15.30 Beginners break dance taster
15.45 Display Dream chasers collective
16.00-16.30 Advanced Hip Hop taster

If you have an interest in dance or performance whether that is from a participant’s or spectators perspective then I encourage you to head down and check out whats going on. For more information check out the TMI Facebook page or the Event page. The company are also on Twitter @TMIports.

TMI

TMI studio

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

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

The Movement Initiative Presents ‘Celebrate’

The Movement Initiative Presents ‘Celebrate’, an evening packed with performances by some of the best dancers in the area across a multitude of genres.

The show is made up of pieces from some of the areas most prominent schools, dance organisations, crews and soloists under one roof for one night only in The Kings Theatre.

Confirmed to appear on the night include Phoenix School of Dance, Odyssey, Tiger Tone, #PPL, Kingsmen, Wolfpack, Tega Alex, Belle Fisher, Dream Chasers Collective and many more.

The show starts 7:30pm tickets are £9.50 or £7.50 for children and concessions. To find out more about the event check out the Facebook page HERE.

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A night of Burlesque at Southsea’s Kings Theatre

The Kings Theatre on Southsea’s Albert Road has been home to some incredible evenings in the past but none quite as sexy and intriguing as the ‘House of Burlesque.’

The shows sultry and seductive acts leave the viewers on the edge of their seat with jaws dropping as the mix of burlesque, magic, music and comedy collide.The shows organiser and host Joe Black was once again out in full force and casually wonderful as always. His charming, humorous and individually beautiful presence caught the attention of the whole theatre this weekend as seats were full.

Saturdays event not only bought out colourful crowds of Portsmouth’s finest but delivered exceptional alternative entertainment with its varied and spectacular acts including that of, Katrina Darling, The Great Aziz, Elliot Mason, Apple Tart, Rachel Rose Reid, Rococo Chanel, Terms of Unnervement and The Winners of Baghdad’s Got Talent.

The entertainers passion for performance beams through the whole show and the eccentric collection of artists brings a whole new dimension to modern theatre.

The House of Burlesque is due to visit again on the 25th July this year, so get your tickets soon!

By Chantelle Wyatt

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House Of Burlesque @ The Kings Theatre

On Saturday 31st January the Kings Theatre welcomes Joe Black and a cast of delightful friends to entertain us and cure the winter blues.

Guests include…
Katrina Darling – Burlesque bombshell. Playboy magazine cover girl and all round beauty!
The Great Aziz – Astounding magic straight from the golden age of hollywood!
Bruise Violet – Emerald inferno! Shimmys… Shakes and sass!
Elliot Mason – Musical comedy oddball and guitar toting mad man!
Rococo Chanel – Drag oddity and aspiring Disney princess!
The Winner Of Baghdad’s Got Talent – The only winner of Baghdad’s Got Talent! A mistress of many skills!
Terms Of Unnervement – Resident double act. A duo specialising in clown, burlesque and absurdity!

The event will be hosted by gin addled ringmaster himself Mr Joe Black and dressing up is positively encouraged!

For more information, check out HERE.

House of Burlesque

Five Beaches Play & Photography Talk on Remembrance Sunday at the D-Day Museum

This Remembrance Sunday on the 9th of November will see the D-Day Museum in Southsea play host to a new play entitled Five Beaches telling the story of the landing at Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944 using veterans’ words where possible. The play is a fast paced, stylised piece of theatre performed by an all-male ensemble that follows the soldiers across the channel and onto the approaches of each of the five landing beaches in Normandy.

Originally written to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the play contains a mixture of humour and pathos interlaced with choral elements. The running time is 30 minutes and is being performed by a group of actors from Bay House School, Gosport. The performance times are 3pm & 4pm and admission to the play is free, but a donation of £3 per person towards the work of Bay House School’s drama department is welcome.

As well as the play there will also be 30-minute photographer talks at 12pm and 2pm entitled ‘D-Day – The Last of the Liberators’ with a collection of portraits of some of the last veterans of the Normandy landings retracing their steps seventy years later. Photographer Robin Savage displays and discusses his favourite photographs from his new book (find out more about the book HERE), which depicts veterans at locations in Nornandy that are particularly significant to their own experiences. No booking required.

Find out more at:

www.ddaymuseum.co.uk

Five Beaches

D-Day The Last of the Liberators
Photo by Robin Savage

House Of Burlesque

Joe Blacks and his House of Burlesque is coming to the Kings Theatre this Sunday from 7:30pm. He’ll be brining with him laughs, flamboyant costumes, innuendo, the slightly bizarre and of course beautiful ladies.

For information on how you can buy tickets check out the Facebook Event HERE.

Featuring: Anna Fur Laxis, The Lounge Kittens, Natalia Kalashnikov, Rubyyy Jones, Lilly Laudanum, Betty Blue-Eyes, Kiki Lovechild and Terms of Unnervement. With the evening hosted by Joe Black acting as facilitator of good times.

Anna Fur Laxis
Anna Fur Laxis

The Lounge Kittens ‘I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing (Aerosmith cover)’
House of Burlesque

Making Waves Film Festival | Strange Factories

Strange Factories will be screened at the Kings Theatre next Wednesday as part of the Making Waves Film Festival. This will be an event with a difference, during the showing of the film, the scenes will be played out by the actors simultaneously on stage and around the theatre. This immersive experience is a must see for fans of theatre and cinema.

The film tells the story of a writer, Victor who awakens alone having fled a mysterious fire that consumed a theatre with his band of performers, and becomes obsessed by his unfinished story. He journeys into dreamlike places, all the while haunted by visions from the infamous hum of the Strange Factory. Upon finding his troupe under the wing of an aristocratic noble, he learns of the enigmatic Stronheim, who offers to rebuild Victor’s theatre, so long as he finds the ending to his story…

If you would like to attend this event then you can reserve your ticket HERE.

Strange Factories – Trailer from FoolishPeople on Vimeo.

Strange Factories Poster Graphic Version

Avenue Q Competition Winners

Tonight the Tony Award winning musical Avenue Q is opens it’s week long stretch at the Kings Theatre. The kind folks at the Kings Theatre have donated a pair of tickets for us to give away for a performance of your choice. All you had to do to win was email with your answer to the following question.

Q) Name any of the three Tony Awards that Avenue Q has previously won.
A) Best Musical, Best Book and Best Original Score

The lucky winner is Hayley Reeves.

Created by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez (Co-creator of Book Of Mormon and writer of the songs for Disney’s Frozen), Avenue Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the story of a recent college graduate named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. Where he meets Kate (the girl next door), Rod (the Republican), Trekkie (the internet sexpert), Lucy The Slut and other colorful types who help Princeton finally discover his true purpose in life!

You can purchase tickets from the the Kings Theatre website HERE.

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Review of Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition at Coastguard Studio

Coastguard Studio this past weekend was host to it’s fifth (if I remember right) exhibition in a matter of six months or so, this one being a spin-off show to to the hugely successful Under the Spotlight exhibition earlier this year. Under the Spotlight | Photography brought together 30 photographers who are either based in Portsmouth or have strong ties with the city and the large open plan gallery space was packed full of diverse and engaging work.

I started off in the bar area, grabbing a beer and then checking out the panels lining the walls to this back space of Coastguard Studio. The first series that caught the eye were a pair of medium format, multiple exposures by Matt Ankers. I’ve seen a lot of Matt’s digital and commercial work (such as Victorious) so it was great to see his more personal work. The two images complemented each other well with emotive seaside scenes shot locally. Great to see film well represented in the exhibition. Next door on the wall was a series of film-noir inspired portraits by University of Portsmouth student Harry Murphy. This small wall right from the get go showed the incredible diversity of work produced for the exhibition and the different backgrounds of the contributors.

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition - Matt Ankers
Work by Matt Ankers.

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition - Harry Murphy
Work by Harry Murphy.

Another eye catching and intriguing panel was by Deborah Holton. The panel of 4 matched images showed x-ray collections of objects found on beach walks, going back over a decade or more. Each individual beach collection was kept in a 35mm film canister and could consist of beach glass, stones, sand and more. The idea behind the project and the dedication and composition consistency elevated this work to a highly conceptual piece that I’m sure inspired a few people to consider striking up their own ambitious concepts and projects in the future.

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition - Deborah Holton
Work by Deborah Holton.

Also in this space were works by Andrew Hayward whose photography we’ve featured on a few occasions on Strong Island. On display were a small set of Andrew’s personal project capturing the oasis feel of service stations at night (also recently exhibited in a solo show with Aspex Gallery and Portsmouth Guildhall). The different garages shot in the same compositional style created a sense of consistency in the panel, drawing the eye in to discover more about the lit forecourts and bringing to mind the memories of late night road trips with friends and finding a sanctuary of fuel for the car and for the passengers. We’re actually exhibiting Andrew’s latest project in Strong Island Co very soon, keep an eye out for details.

Also shown in the room was work by Billie Cawte with her series of photos of projections shot around Portsmouth. These carefully considered images matched a location with a projection of a vintage image, shot at night, instilling a sense of continuity of a sense of place extending beyond normal, individual perceptions of time. These also, in a pleasantly strange way, bring to life forgotten functional corners of buildings. There was lots more to see in this space with other work by local photographers, I spent a little more time looking around before moving in to the large, open main exhibition space.

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition

Straight away it was great to see the place so busy. It was early-ish on the Saturday night and the place was full of people of all ages checking out the work and chatting. Its always great to take a step back in an exhibition and just see people enjoying it. There is way too much work to go through individually here but a few panels really caught my eye for very different reasons. In one corner were a series of 360 images taken by Guilhem Brandy which showed different, familiar, spots around the city in an interesting new way. Changing up perspectives of familiar places is something I personally really like and this series from Albert Road, Southsea Seafront, Garrison Church and Guildhall Square drew you in to find out more.

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition

One of the many great things about a shared exhibition is that the work touches on so many different subjects, drawing out many different thoughts and feelings from the people viewing the work. In a matter of a few steps you could take in the B&W film street photography by Matt Maber exploring the physical, social and cultural boundaries of Fratton Park on a Saturday afternoon through to the questioning and bold nudes by Ashton Keiditsch. In particular the powerful image of a lady with a partial mastectomy meant that the exhibition tackled some heavyweight subjects and these honest and questioning portraits looking at contemporary body image issues rightly raised discussion. The work reminded me of the recent series by Bryan Adams and also The Battle We Didn’t Choose.

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition - Ashton Keiditsch
Work by Ashton Keiditsch.

Also panels that caught the eye included: the photos of Diana Goss whose work has a foot in each of her professions: photography and psychotherapy, the long exposures by both Elmer Maniebo and Jon Neil, the portraits by Aaron Bennett, the views on old age by Yasmin Collins and so, so much more. Hopefully the photos below give you a glimpse.

If you want to see the work in person the exhibition is open until Friday from 12pm to 2pm. Check the Coastguard Studio Facebook page for more information HERE.

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition - Yasmin Collins

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition - Aaron Bennett

Under the Spotlight | Photography Exhibition

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















Portsmouth – Not The New Malta

Do you remember our post about Portsmouth, The New Malta and the advertising campaign that has been going on? The Telegraph has written a short article in response to the campaign. Check it out HERE and follow it up in the comments. Unfashionable, now come on Telegraph.

“We probably get about two weeks of sunshine at best, and you are more used to seeing people fighting than socialising in a quaint café,” said Tim Courtnell, a life-long Portsmouth resident. “The beach at Southsea is a mixture of shingle and Stella Artois cans on most days, and you wouldn’t think of swimming in the sea.”

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Old Southsea Skate Photos

Check the Skate Library for the first of a growing list of old Southsea photos including this one of Lance Mountain grinding the Law Courts back in 1988 (photo by Tim Leighton-Boyce).

Rolling right Inuit part II

Following on from the previous post about the Igloo seen on Southsea Common, Khalid Saleh was kind enough to get in contact with some more information and some photos. It took Khalid and 6 of his friends 5 and a half hours to build the Igloo using what looks like icecream tubs and glow sticks were donated by passers by from the Navy.

It’s still standing today and Meridian will be doing a short interview with them. Not sure when that will air, but hopefully I’ll catch it.

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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.

Southsea Common Barbecue Zones

I’m sure a lot of you enjoyed the fantastic weather this weekend and many of you no doubt had a barbecue on The Common. I was out of town on Saturday but heard it was seriously busy down the seafront. A few of us had a BBQ on Sunday and we’re approached by some council officials regarding our position. They were very polite and let us carry on as we were already cooking and handed us some details of all the new zones.

Unfortunately the new zones now means hundreds of people are going to be packed in to single areas. The main common by the War Memorial will be extremely busy over the summer. More so than usual for sure. I fully back having these zones in place, but feel I’ll no longer be going to the common for BBQs if I can help it as they have made a lot of areas no go zones. It was always more appealing when you could spread out from other groups.

Southsea & Portsmouth Guide

Local photographer Steve Bomford recently sent over a series of scans from the 1926 Official Publication of the Southsea Beach & Publicity Committee Portsmouth Corporation book ‘Southsea & Portsmouth’.

‘It is of little use to invite intending holiday makers to a town, unless there are attractions to offer, under all conditions of our notorious fickle ‘English’ climate. We do not make the statement that the sun shines every day at Southsea, but records show that we do get the maximum amount of sunny hours. Last year again, 1,923 hours were recorded, the highest number (with one exception) in the United Kingdom. Admitting that the question of sunshine is an important one, it is contended that a holiday resort must have other attractions, such as charming amenities, efficient public services, splendid variety of amusements, good facilities for all outdoor sports, and a good selection of cheap excursions and places of historical interest, to make a general appeal to those who are seeking a health-giving and enjoyable holiday.”

I love all the old hand drawn adverts and especially like the ‘medically recommended’ page. Where the sun lingers longer. Couldn’t be closer to the truth still to this day. It’s a shame the ‘most artistic cafe in Southsea’ is no longer in operation and the amount of people gathered on South Parade beach is incredible. Be sure to check out the full set with over 80 pages of photos, adverts and chapters all about Portsmouth & Southsea over at Steve’s Flickr HERE. A really interesting read if you like your history. And we know you do.

Matt Saxey’s Bike Ride Photos

Head on over to Matts Flickr and check out a few more photos from last Sunday’s ride. Great photos that really help capture the event.

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Local Photographer – Pompey Shoes

I’ve been following Pompeyshoes on Flickr for a while now, yet somehow missed this great shot of a sunset down on the seafront. Be sure to check his Portsmouth & Southsea set for more great photos and interesting perspectives.

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