12 freedom-focused Portsmouth Festivities events in June 2018

From Friday 15th to Sunday 24th June 2018, Portsmouth Festivities host a ten-day programme of artistic and cultural events. This year, Portsmouth Festivities celebrates the theme of ‘FREEDOM’, marking the centenary of women’s suffrage and the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela. Events will explore ideas of creative freedom in a wide-ranging programme of music, theatre, talks, and film, and so much more.

Here are 12 Portsmouth Festivities 2018 events which are centred around the core theme of ‘FREEDOM’, so you can enjoy arts, culture, and performance while celebrating the felling of social walls.

World’s Smallest
Escape Room

📍 High Street, Old Portsmouth
⏳ June 15th — June 24th

mutiny Festival portsmouth 2018

Could you escape from the world's smallest escape room? This year, in partnership with Houdini's EscapePortsmouth Festivities hope to create a record-breaking event by working with local schools to design and build the world’s smallest escape room! Be part of the world record attempt at book your free time slot online.

Philip Hoare: sea of freedom (a talk)

📍 Portsmouth Grammar School
⏳ June 19th, 7:30pm — 9:00pm

Southsea Band Stand events 2018

Author Philip Hoare gives a talk at Portsmouth Grammar School’s David Russell Theatre on Tuesday 19th June, drawing on his new book, RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR, to reflect on the way we relate to the sea’s natural and human history as expressions of freedom. Book your tickets via the Portsmouth Festivities website »

Pronoun, a play of transitions

📍 Coastguard Studio, PO4 0SA
⏳ 23rd/24th June (three shows)

Victorious Festival Portsmouth 2018

Pronoun is a play about a transgender teenager and James Dean, presenting at Coastguard Studios by The Young Creatives Portsmouth as part of Portsmouth Festivities 2018. The play explores one individual’s decision to undergo gender transition and the impact of friends, family, and their boyfriend. Book your tickets online »


Talk: Peter Tatchell on free speech

📍 Portsmouth Grammar School
⏳ June 20th, 7:00pm

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Join British human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell as he airs his views on free speech and causing offence at this talk in the David Russell Theatre at Portsmouth Grammar School, in conjunction with Portsmouth Festivities 2018. Are safe space and no-platform policies sensible safeguards or autocratic censorship? Book your tickets online »

‘Transitions’ — new art by new artists

📍 Jack House Gallery, High Street
⏳ 18th — 23rd June

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All under 20, this group of local artists tackles themes ranging from intensely personal life stories to socio-political anger. This is their second Portsmouth exhibition, following involvement in Play Code City in 2017. They return for this, another Portsmouth Festivities event, on display at Jack House Gallery between Monday 18th and Saturday 23rd June. Entry is free and unticketed.

‘Black Prisoners of War’, a talk

📍 Portchester Castle
⏳ June 20th, 6pm — 7pm

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Follow the lives of the thousands of Caribbean soldiers interned at Portchester Castle during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars with France at this presentation. English Heritage curator Abigail Coppins presents the research and the stories behind the new permanent exhibition at Portchester Castle. Book online »


Rest As Resistance, a relaxing workshop

📍 Becket Hall, Cathedral House
⏳ 21st June from 7:00pm

Rest As Resistance.jpg

In a restless world, it can be hard to find peace and freedom from the pressures of life. Explore this theme in a little more depth in a practical workshop offering creative opportunities to reflect. This free unticketed event takes place at Becket Hall in Cathedral House from 7:00pm ‘til 8:30pm on Thursday 21st June.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom screening

📍 No. 6 Cinema Portsmouth
⏳ 23rd June, 7:00pm


Local indie filmhouse No. 6 Cinema, located in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, will be showing Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom on 23rd June. The 2013 documentary film stars Idris Elba as the revolutionary leader, bringing to life a script based on Mandela’s 1995 book of the same name. Book online »

Talk: John Pounds, a forgotten hero

📍 John Pounds Unitarian Church
⏳ June 17th, 3pm ‘til 4pm

John Pounds.jpg

John Pounds is the most famous national hero you've never heard of. Join Matt Wingett on the Portsmouth cobbler's birthday to hear how he became a national figurehead in a movement that freed thousands of children from crime and poverty. Book your tickets through the Portsmouth Festivities website »



📍 New Theatre Royal
⏳ 23rd June from 8:00pm


In a digital world where we’re free to express ourselves via technology on a daily basis, are we really more connected? Glitch is an immersive dance performance, exploring disconnection and isolation — being surrounded in a city and yet feeling alone. A smartphone is required for this performance. 18+ only, due to some nudity. Tickets are free, but reservations are required due to capacity limitations. Make yours online.

How the Vote was Won

📍 Kings Theatre, Albert Road
⏳ June 15th ‘til June 22nd

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This exhibition celebrates the centenary of women first winning the right to vote in the UK. ‘How the Vote was Won’ runs from 15th June ‘til 22nd June 2018, at the No. 28 Albert Road exhibition space beside Kings Theatre Southsea. Aurora Metro Arts and Media present the wonderful exhibition. It serves as a reminder that women fought long and hard to eventually win the right to have a voice in society and change it for the better. Unticketed!

Young People’s Debate

📍 Portsmouth Grammar School
⏳ 19th June from 4:30pm

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Marking Refugee Week, this annual event debates the stance on issues concerning refugees in the UK, forming part of the 2018 programme for Portsmouth Festivities. If your secondary school would like to attend, sign up by emailing info@portsmouthfestivities.co.uk as soon as possible. Places are limited. The debate takes place from 4:30pm in Portsmouth Grammar School’s Sixth Form Centre Café on Tuesday 19th June.

Think there’s something else we should mention? Let us know!