25 March 2024

Major stars are lining up to open the UK’s newest venue, the highly anticipated Fareham Live – and tickets for the exciting opening season are now on sale!

Leading the pack is Australian superstar Jason Donovan who will lead a talented cast as the charismatic Frank N Furter in the legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll musical The Rocky Horror Show.

Fareham Live’s pantomime Cinderella will star AJ & Curtis Pritchard whilst the opening season also includes shows from Jimmy Carr, Jane McDonald, Anton du Beke, Adam Kay and Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

 Tickets for the full opening season – with more shows to be added – are on sale now!

Jason Donovan starring in Rocky Horror ShowAJ & Curtis Pritchard starring in Cinderella

Trafalgar Theatres – the theatre division of leading global live entertainment company Trafalgar Entertainment – was awarded the contract to operate Fareham Live by Fareham Borough Council in June 2023.

Fareham Live is currently under construction and will launch as an all-new, multi-purpose facility in September 2024 as part of the council’s multi-million-pound plans to redevelop the civic quarter and regenerate the Town Centre.

The new venue features a main auditorium with comfortable seating for 800 people and a full-height fly tower to support high quality performances. A secondary performance space, new bar and cafe area, and studio space supporting community groups and organisations will also form part of the new building.

Removable seating will increase capacity in the main hall to around 1,000 allowing for a wide range of performances, functions, and live events to be programmed.

Anton du BekeJimmy Carr

Jason Donovan said: “I cannot wait to be on stage and to open Fareham Live with the legendary Rocky Horror Show. From the very first performance in London, Richard O’Brien created a show from the wilds of his imagination with incredible music that has now stood the test of time, and an awesome energy that befits its accolades and endurance. Quite simply, it’s a rock n roll show appealing to the cheeky side of us all!”

AJ Pritchard said: “Pantomime is always a true highlight of the year filled with family, spirit & joy. I get to play my favourite role again, Prince Charming, but unlike most Princes’ it’s filled with dancing allowing me to tell the story and whisk the Princess off her feet. I can’t wait to be performing with my brother, Curtis again. Prince Charming & Dandini are the perfect roles for us, allowing us to have fun on stage & capture that brotherly banter. Bring on Panto, plus what an honour to open the new theatre with its first pantomime in Fareham Live!”

Curtis Pritchard said: “It’s awesome to be back doing one of the best pantomimes in history, Cinderella. This time, it’s in an all-new theatre with an all-new script and all-new songs from me. Panto is about fun, love, Christmas and just good times, and that’s exactly what Cinderella brings. I’ll be back on stage with AJ, and we will be dancing the night away in some big, choreographed number just like the ones you love and see on Strictly. Don’t hesitate and miss out, come have some Christmas fun with the entire family watching Cinderella.”

Cllr Mrs Sue Walker, Executive Member for Leisure and Community at Fareham Borough Council said: “Fareham Live’s opening season launch is another significant milestone for the venue and I, for one, cannot wait to see what Trafalgar Theatres have in store for us. I encourage everyone to head to the website to have a look and start booking in their theatre trips. This is the first big step forward in our plans for town centre regeneration and making Fareham a go-to location for entertainment.”

Helen Enright, CEO Trafalgar Theatres, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Fareham Borough Council to launch Fareham Live. Rocky is the perfect party to kick-off our opening season and the wider programme offers something for everyone – which of course is what Fareham Live is all about. 

“Launching a brand-new state-of-the-art venue is a rare and special moment presenting exciting opportunity and endless prospects. We’re excited to welcome those early audiences and want to make sure that the whole community has an opportunity to participate.”

Gavin Shuman, Venue Director, Fareham Live, said: “Work is progressing well at Fareham Live, and the size and scale of this modern venue is taking shape. It’s an exciting time for the project as we announce the opening season; and our recruitment drive is well underway.

“Fareham Live will be the cultural hub of Fareham, offering a variety of classes and events throughout the day, as well as fantastic evening entertainment such as national touring shows, comedy, ballet, opera, and much more. We will also be hosting many local societies performing their annual shows. With classes including drama, dance, and yoga, there really will be something for everyone. A café and bar will also provide a great space to eat, drink, and relax during the day and before evening shows.”