Photo of a production by the Groundlings Theatre Company, Portsmouth.


Groundlings Theatre

The Groundlings Theatre Company won the bid to buy The Old Beneficial School in Portsea and made the building its new home in April 2010. This stunning historic grade II star listed building will be brought back to life providing a wonderful focal point for the area.

This classical building was built in 1784 by the Beneficial Society, as a public hall and charity school for poor boys. It was extended in 1836 to provide an education for girls as well. The school closed in 1960 when St Georges and Beneficial School was built alongside, making it redundant.

The Groundlings Theatre Company refurbished the building creating spaces for rehersal rooms, dance a studio, office space, theatre and cafe.
The centre facilities includes the following,

  • Rehersal rooms, dance studio and office space.
    Three studios are available to hire set in this beautiful Georgian building. Situated close to Gunwharf Quays and Rail, Bus and Ferry terminals it is ideally located for users and audiences. Film and editing suite is also available.

  • TV Studio.
    TV studio available to hire for film makers and facilities to record performances. Playback facilities, green screen, technical support are all available including full use of editing suite.

  • Office space for hire.
    Some great office space is available at very competitive rates. Ideal for arts based organisations. Additional rooms for meetings and conferences are also available including video projection and catering are also available. Located 5 minutes walk from Gunwhalf Quays this makes an excellent and ideal space to use.

  • Wardrobe Department.
    Groundlings currently have over 10,000 costumes in their wardrobe department these are available for hire to other Theatre Companies, Schools and the general public for fancy dress. The wardrobe department has every period from Roman to the present day. High quality costumes with special rates for theatre companies. A wide range of props and sets are also available.

  • Theatre.
    The theatre with its classic Georgian decor is a modern versatile space, perfect for theatre in the round, proscenium arch, platform stage, traverse theatre and dinner theatre. Tiered seating or steel deck staging is available for any style of production.

  • Café Restaurant.
    The Arts Centre will have a café during the day and a Restaurant in the evening for productions as part of dinner theatre. The restaurant is also available for private functions and small performances and music cabaret.


Address: The Old Beneficial School, 42 Kent Street, Portsmouth, PO1 3BS
Telephone: 02392 737370 or