20 LOVEly Years

This year, Portsmouth Festivities kick-started the Summer with a 10-day programme of arts and cultural events to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Following a fabulous opening concert by The Cardinall’s Musick, the Festivities drew performers from across the globe to take part in concerts throughout the city. Tenebrae, the Jason Rebello trio, and the Estonian folk sensation Mari Kalkun played to acclaim. We were particularly delighted to see pupils feature as performers alongside The Cardinall’s Musick and Jason Rebello, and a fabulous recital by the music scholars at Portsmouth Cathedral confirmed PGS’ reputation as a centre of musical excellence.

As usual, the Festivities offered an opportunity to showcase some of the most exciting artistic talent in the Portsmouth area, including a stunning exhibition by Maggie Roberts at Aspex Gallery. Our pupils brought two exhibitions to the Aspex and Jack House galleries, creating pieces in response to images and artefacts from the Festivities 20 year’s.

But it was poetry and literature that took the lead at this year’s festival, from Jeff Towns’ enlightening talk on Edward Thomas, to appearances by authors Kate Mosse, Pete Johnson and Simon Singh. The Festivities’ main commission this year was 20 Love, a live event on Governor’s Green that fused spoken-word poetry, music and film in a single stage performance. Based on Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, this moving and ambitious undertaking was enjoyed by all who attended. We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all who were involved in the 2019 Festivities.


Here’s to the next 20 years!