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Groundlings Theatre Trust
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Groundlings Theatre Trust

Redeem Your Theatre Tokens:

In Person: The Old Beneficial School, 42 Kent Street, Portsea, PORTSMOUTH, Hampshire, PO1 3BS
Phone: 02392 737370

Portsmouth Harbour Train Station, The Hard Bus Station, the Isle of Wight Passenger Ferry and Gosport Ferry are all within 5 minutes walking distance of the theatre.


We have a car park on site that is managed by YourParkingSpace. You can pre-book your space in advance by searching location ID 1784 via or by downloading the YourParkingSpace app and searching ID1784.


Our bar serves a range of alcoholic and soft drinks including tea and coffee. Our ice creams are supplied by Northney Ice Cream. The bar is open for a minimum of 45 minutes before performances and during the interval. Interval drinks can be pre-ordered.

Access Info

Groundlings Theatre is a Grade II* listed building and unfortunately does not have disabled access to the upstairs where our auditorium is located.

Groundlings is a unique Georgian Theatre built in 1784, it is a magical place with secret doors and hidden rooms. It was frequented by Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens was nearly born here. The building went on to serve the rich and the poor with downstairs floor serving as the classroom for impoverished children and the upstairs being used by the high society for meetings, concerts and theatre. The school applied a very disciplinarian attitude to education. It was not until 1837 the boys only school was opened to girls and a junior school was also formed in 1873. The school had to be closed in 1939 due to the outbreak of WW2 and it is said that a Nazi sympathizer used the roof of the school to shine a torch to direct bombers seeking to hit Portsmouth Dockyard. The school finally closed in 1962 and it was in 2010 when a major restoration job was started. There was an appeal to locals to roll their sleeves up so builders, local volunteers, in fact, everyone came to lend a hand. Today, Groundlings Theatre is a professional producing theatre and drama school firmly rooted in its community. Operated by The Groundlings Theatre Trust, they ensure the upkeep of a historic Grade II* listed building and provide a mixture of cultural experiences alongside a dedicated engagement programme.

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