Portsmouth’s best things to do, February 20-26

Portsmouth's best things to do, February 20-26

Here are our top picks. Go ahead fill your diary!

1. Bones

Would you like to see a dodo skeleton?
One of just 13 in the world, the prehistoric bird skeleton is on display at Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery, at Museum Road.

The exhibition features the 12,500-year-old skeleton which has been donated to Portsmouth for a year.

Go and see for yourself at the museum, which is open every day from 10am-5pm, except Mondays. Visit portsmouthcitymuseums.co.uk for details. 

Bird Skeleton
Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery

2. Mystical and mysterious

Sea monsters, ghosts, UFOs and a giant white rabbit have appeared in myths and legends of Portsmouth for years.
Local author Matt Wingett has compiled them all into his book, Mysteries of Portsmouth.

Join him as he takes you through obscure newspaper reports and fact and fictional sources to explain what prompted the Ministry of Defence to create the Flying Saucer Working Party after a sighting of a UFO over Portsmouth; the story of sibling rivalry that led to the original name for the first castle at Portchester; reports of the giant white rabbit of Portsea; and ghost sightings throughout the city.

This journey through the centuries will begin at 2pm on Wednesday at Portsmouth Central Library.
Admission £3. 

Sea monsters, ghosts, UFOs and a giant white rabbit have appeared in myths and legends of Portsmouth for years.

3. Get it right

Following his five-star Olivier-nominated hit My Family: Not The Sitcom and the return to number one of his seminal football anthem Three Lions, David Baddiel returns to Portsmouth Guildhall with a one-man show, Trolls: Not The Dolls. David has stories to tell of the dark cyberpaths that interacting with trolls has led him down and join this comedic journey into our culture’s underground.

Trolls: Not The Dolls starts at 7pm on Saturday. 

David Baddiel
David Baddiel

4. Alive through animation

Best known for designing posters for films The Evil Dead (1981) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Graham Humphreys will discuss the relationship between fantasy storytelling and animation on Tuesday at 7pm.
Graham will be interviewed by Dr Alexander Sergeant, lecturer in film and media studies and founder of the podcast, Fantasy-Animation.org, to discuss Graham’s career and his innovative approach.

At Portsmouth Central Library, £4.  

Graham Humphreys
Graham Humphreys

5. Save our theatre!

After vandals broke into the Groundlings Theatre in 2019 and with limited support from local authorities, the Georgian building is now under threat.

From 7-9pm tomorrow, the historic theatre will open its doors to the public for a free event highlighting its importance, how local people can help and create contacts and friends.

If you can’t attend you can, e-mail richard@ groundlings.co.uk to find out how you can help. 

Groundlings Theatre
Groundlings Theatre

6. A pick of the best

In 1765 HMS Victory was launched and the nine-year-old Mozart wrote his Fifth Symphony.

On Saturday, the English Chamber Orchestra presents Sailing the Centuries, an exclusive musical celebration ranging from the 18th to the 21st century, featuring Mozart, Holst, Haydn and more.

New Theatre Royal, Guildhall Walk, at 7.30pm. 

The English Chamber Orchestra
The English Chamber Orchestra

7. On the edge of your seat

Professor Jim-Al-Khalili will be in conversation with the University of Portsmouth’s Dr Adrian Hull talking about his exciting debut novel Sun Fall and his career, as part of BookFest.

Known for his rip-roaring storytelling and mind-expanding science writing, go along and listen to Jim at the University of Portsmouth’s Park Building tomorrow at 7pm. Admission £5.  

Professor Jim-Al-Khalili
Professor Jim-Al-Khalili

8. Bottoms up!

Fancy a pint? Head down to The Ashcroft Winter Ale Festival, Fareham, and Gosport’s Winterfest Beer Festival on Saturday.
Try several ales, craft beers and ciders at both events and enjoy their live music.

Go along to The Ashcroft Arts Centre or Thorngate Halls for Winterfest at 12pm. Tickets from £5. 

Chinking of Beer Flagons
Fancy a pint?

9. Fun for all the family

The Spring, Havant, has been hosting half-term workshops celebrating our amazing planet Earth in its annual family festival, Planet Fantastic.

One Duck Down on Saturday is a family show inspired by the true story, featured on Blue Planet II, that saw 7,000 rubber ducks cast adrift in a mighty storm. Featuring music, puppetry, clowning, a set made from recycled rubbish and a mighty storm, join them on an ocean clear-up adventure that would make Sir David Attenborough proud. 11am and 2.30pm.

The Spring also invites you to Dig – a gentle and simple performance for children featuring a gardener in his indoor garden and offers the chance to meet the bugs, bird and butterflies you can find there. Ideally suited for those aged six months to two years. Performances at 10am and 11.30am. 

The Spring, Havant
The Spring, Havant

10. The regency world

As part of a year-long project exploring the world of Jane Austen and as part of Bookfest, Kim Edith invites you to an exhibition of her work at The Hotwalls, Old Portsmouth (10am-4pm), from today until Sunday.

She explores the recurring themes and imagery of the books through detailed embroidery.

Jane Austen artwork
Explore the world of Jane Austen

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