Portsmouth Arts Festival
On Sunday 28 June, a Tudor procession from the Mary Rose Museum will pass through the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, then Old Portsmouth, to Southsea Castle. This event is just one of the nationwide events taking place this year to mark the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s accession to the throne.
The day kicks off at 2:00 PM from the Mary Rose Museum, where there will be a falconry demonstration and Tudor cooking. There will also be the opportunity to meet Henry VIII and his court as well as crew members from the Mary Rose.
At 3.30 the procession will leave for Southsea Castle complete with a cast of sailors, shipwrights, flag bearers, and musicians. At Southsea Castle, there will be music, a food fair, and a picnic. The day will culminate with what has been called the Ghost Ship Pageant, a burning replica of the Mary Rose amid a twilight firework display.
This event, which is free for all to attend, has been made possible thanks to a £70,000 grant from the Arts Council.
Other events marking the Portsmouth festivities this year will include evening talks by historian David Starkey and writer Alison Weir. Gyles Brandreth, The Sixteen, Tasmin Little and the London Mozart Players, are among the other artists and speakers taking part during the ten days. There will also be an opera performance with a production of Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth. Sponsors of this year’s festivities include BVT Surface Fleet and the Mary Rose Trust.