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Southampton’s Mayflower transformed in fourteen week turn-around to mark 90th birthday.

28/09/18

The largest theatre in the south of England has undergone its first refurbishment in three decades to coincide with its 90th birthday revealing the scale and drama of its auditorium.

The refurbished auditorium at the Mayflower Theatre. Image: The Mayflower Theatre

In a rapid fourteen-week turnaround, the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton has been refreshed and upgraded from floor-to-ceiling. The 494 original balcony seats have been refurbished and the 1,654 seats in the stalls and circle have been replaced with new, wider designs incorporating improved legroom. The auditorium now holds a capacity of 2,325 including 22 wheelchair positions and standing room for 107 patrons.

We developed a technical theatre scheme whereby a new LED lighting scheme, with improved controls, has been added improving the environmental credentials of the space and better facilities for patrons with disabilities has been installed. Architectural lighting design was provided by 18 Degrees. The orchestra pit has been moved beneath the stage allowing three rows of seats to be permanently fixed and three further rows to be brought into regular use.

Replastered and repainted in 11 shades of red, the design by Foster Wilson Architects recalls the theatres 20’s heritage and reaffirms the theatre’s reputation as one of the country’s most impressive spaces for performance.

“...this project is very much about ensuring Mayflower Theatre remains best in class not just for now, but long into the future.”

Mayflower Chief Executive Michael Ockwell

In a rapid fourteen-week turnaround, the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton has been refreshed and upgraded from floor-to-ceiling. Image: The Mayflower Theatre.

The original balcony seating has been refurbished and the seats in the stalls and circle have been replaced with new, wider designs. Image: The Mayflower Theatre.

The auditorium has been refurbished to coincide with its 90th birthday. Image: The Mayflower Theatre.

A new LED lighting scheme has been added improving the environmental credentials of the space and better facilities for patrons with disabilities has been installed. Image: The Mayflower Theatre.

“This is a regeneration for a new generation,” remarked Mayflower Chief Executive Michael Ockwell. “This is without doubt the most significant refurbishment project that the theatre has seen in the last three decades and we were thrilled to lift the curtains on the new look tonight. For us, this project is very much about ensuring Mayflower Theatre remains best in class not just for now, but long into the future.”

“The Mayflower Theatre is a major touring venue and vital resource for the local community, welcoming over 500,000 visitors a year,” said Senior Consultant Mark Lovell. “This project does more than simply refresh the look and feel of the space, it has niftily reconfigured the room to increase capacity, comfort, technical functionality and reduce environmental impact. Here’s to the next 90 years!”

The new scheme features 11 shades of red, recalling the theatre's 1920's aesthetic. Image: The Mayflower Theatre.

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Nicholas Smith

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Nicholas Smith

For more on what we've been up to recently, speak to Nicholas

Contact Nicholas

+44 (0)20 7928 0000