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Curtain rises on £7.5m theatre makeover

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One of the UK’s most successful regional theatres lifted the curtains on a brand-new era in its 90-year history yesterday following a £7.5m refurbishment project.

Mayflower Theatre took a ‘dramatic pause’ as it turned off the lights for the multi-million pound project back in June. Tonight it reopened its doors to the public for the first time to reveal the results of its biggest transformation of the last 30 years.

The iconic Southampton venue has been completely repainted with a dramatic new red and gold colour scheme. All of the seats in the stall and circle have been removed and replaced with 1,659 brand-new, wider seats while the seats in the balcony have been reupholstered. The theatre has gained an extra seat, taking its total seat capacity to 2,274.

New environmentally-friendly LED lighting has been installed, the orchestra pit has been moved beneath the stage and accessibility has been improved, with better facilities for people with disabilities.

The multi-million pound project will ensure the theatre remains best in class and continues to draw in hundreds of thousands of people to the city. Every year more than 500,000 people visit Mayflower Theatre and the venue contributes an estimated £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 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.”




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