Artists in Residence

Opportunities for schools

We work with a number of national and international visual and performing artists. Opportunities arise on an occasional basis to take part in workshops either at the theatre or in your school.

To be the first to hear about these opportunities please contact Rachel Goodall 


Opportunities for artists

High up in the Kings Theatre’s tower is an Artist’s Studio which can be hired on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. With good natural light and far reaching views across Southsea and Old Portsmouth this is an ideal space to get creative.

This space is also used by our Artists in Residence who spend up to a month working on their own practice, taking part in community art projects and running workshops at local schools, colleges or at the Kings.

Artists can also hire our Dress Circle exhibition space to display and/or sell work.

If you would like to more information on hiring the studio space or being considered for an artist residency please contact Rachel Goodall 



Artists from Beijing

As part of the Portsmouth Festivities, in June 2015, three of Beijing’s most prestigious artists came to Portsmouth for a 10-day residency. The Kings Theatre’s Chief Executive David Cooper said: “The artists made Portsmouth their home, and were truly inspired by City’s magnificent architecture, landmarks, landscape and people.”

Italian-born, Beijing-based photographer, Vittorio Guida’s work spans film, portraiture, architecture and reportage. He was drawn to the vast array of architectural delights that the city has to offer and those at the Grade II* listed Kings Theatre.

Zhong Yan, an abstract painter who specialises in colourful oil paintings held workshops at the HMS Warrior 1860 and at the Mountbatten Centre.

Han Zhibing, Chinese calligrapher and President of the China Painting and Calligraphy Art Research Institute, Mountain, led a workshop for staff and students from Lord Admiral Nelson School, Portsmouth introducing them to the medium of Chinese ink and brush painting.



In July 2015, internationally-renowned French street artists and painters, Oré and Artiste-Ouvrier, exhibited work, created new artworks and worked with young people from Pompey in the Community. Oré spent some time working on containers opposite the HMS Warrior in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, whilst Artiste-Ouvrier used his distinctive two-layer stencilling art on the exterior of the Wedgewood Rooms on Albert Road, Southsea.

Oré also spent a day holding workshops with ten young people from Pompey in the Community, where they created a mural in a corridor in Fratton Park, home of Portsmouth Football Club. Oré said: “I was very proud to be involved with the community project as I know how important football and this club is to the City.”



Simon Whitcomb is vital part of the Kings Theatre’s visual art activities. From exhibitions to Summer schools he has used his creative skills to create innovative site specific work, theatrical designs, and to support and nurture others in developing their artistic aspirations.


We commissioned Simon to paint a collection of images for a production of Oliver staged at the Kings Theatre. The images where used as transitions between scenes and projected onto the stage. Each painting related to a scene or location and incorporated text from the novel.


In 2012 he transformed our box office into fairy-tale world inspired by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the following year he transporting us to the mythical world inhabited by Sleeping Beauty and her handsome prince.

Summer Schools

Since 2013 Simon has been our lead tutor for our Visual Art Summer Schools.

The first year saw the budding artists create a magnificent mural of Southsea with the Kings Theatre’s architect Frank Matcham keeping an eye on his building and the creative energies it harnesses from a cloud overhead.

In 2014 the young people worked in the Kings’ activity space No.28 where they made billboard posters inspired by Southsea and the theatre.

During the 2015 Easter holidays Simon worked with a group of children to create their own miniature mechanical theatres that would each look different and move in different ways.

 See more of his work on his website ( and make sure you are following us on facebook or twitter for news of his next visit to the Kings.


Pippo Panariello, Head of Art, Naples (1-14 June 2016)

Pippo Panariello, Head of Art from the University of Naples has taken up the offer of a two-week Artist Residency at the Kings Theatre Portsmouth, where he will be developing his own work and working on a number of schools workshops. There will be a small exhibition to accompany the workshops in the Theatre’s promenade gallery and No 28 window displays. There will be an additional workshop and exhibition at Ferneham Hall, Fareham.

Pippo Panariello is renowned for having established the Museum Under 14, the online Children’s art museum.