This is without doubt the most significant refurbishment project that the theatre has seen in the last three decades.For us, this project is very much about ensuring Mayflower Theatre remains best in class not just for now, but long into the future
– Michael Ockwell, chief executive of The Mayflower Theatre
Its boards have been trodden by legends such as Julie Andrews, Laurel and Hardy and The Beatles and Now Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre - the largest in the south of England - has reopened following an extensive £7.5m refurbishment project.
The 90-year-old theatre brought the curtains down in June so that work could commence on what is described as its biggest transformation in 30 years.
It reopened on 26th September with a gala evening of music and entertainment, showing off a 'dramatic' new red and gold colour scheme. Stall and circle seats have been replaced with new, wider seats, and the seats in the balcony have been upholstered. New environmentally-friendly lighting has been installed, the orchestra pit moved beneath the stage, and facilities improved for people with disabilities. The theatre now has a capacity of 2,274 - one more than before.
The Mayflower – originally called the Empire, then the Gaumont from 1950 until taking its current name in 1987 – is an important part of Southampton’s entertainment offering, attracting more than 500,000 visitors every year and contributing around £75m to the economy.
Michael Ockwell, chief executive of Mayflower Theatre, said: "This is, without doubt, the most significant refurbishment project that the theatre has seen in the last three decades. For us, this project is very much about ensuring Mayflower Theatre remains best in class not just for now, but long into the future."