Arts, Heritage

Mayflower Theatre

The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton celebrated its 90th year in 2018 by undertaking a comprehensive renovation of the auditorium together with the construction of a new back stage extension that provided a green room, accessible toilets and a new route between the front of house and back stage areas.

The Grade II Listed building, designed by W and TR Milburn and completed in 1928, is the largest theatre in the South of England, outside of London, with a seating capacity of 2,325.

Foster Wilson Size were responsible for the design of the refurbishment scheme, including the restoration of historic plasterwork, new fittings, drapes, seating and decorations. A new decorative scheme was developed in 11 shades of red and gold that replaced the previous 1980s scheme of blue and terracotta. The new colour scheme was developed following expert paint analysis undertaken of the early colour schemes of the theatre.

The auditorium restoration includes a new LED lighting scheme that uses original fittings with new light sources, transforming the interior whilst reducing energy consumption. The orchestra pit was redesigned with additional space created under the stage and a new folding seating system to increase orchestra capacity. New wheelchair positions, relaxed performance seating areas and looped handrails were added to improve accessibility.

The main project, run in conjunction with the new build side extension, was completed on time and budget within a short 12 week closure period, with up to 120 trades people on site per day.

"Foster Wilson Size helped us deliver a fantastic project, in time and on budget. The transformation of the theatre is remarkable – the auditorium feels intimate and warm which has delivered exactly to the brief, but more importantly the theatre is better connected. The team listened carefully to our objectives and have improved connectivity within the building with tangible results. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Foster Wilson Size for any future refurbishment projects."

​​​​​​​Michael Ockwell, Chief Executive, Mayflower Theatre

  • ClientMayflower Theatre
  • LocationSouthampton
  • Shortlisted in the RICS Social Impact Awards, South East, Heritage and Leisure categories, 2020

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