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Tuesday 23 December 2014

Students design part of Mayflower Theatre

Next spring, theatre-goers to Southampton’s historic Mayflower Theatre will be enjoying a pre-show or interval drink in the newly refurbished balcony bar designed by interior design students from Southampton Solent University.

As part of a collaborative industry-led project between Mayflower Theatre and Southampton Solent University, second- year BA (Hons) Interior Design Decoration students were asked to submit designs for the theatre’s balcony bar.

In their brief, the theatre asked for a functional and ‘cool’ bar with a comfortable lounge area that would be contemporary as well as sympathetic to the existing features of the listed building.

Nine short-listed designs were presented to Mayflower Theatre directors, front of house and technical teams for feedback. They were so impressed by the standard of the designs that they have chosen to use the winning design, along with elements from the two runners up.

Rachel Fox, Head of Technical Operations for Mayflower Theatre said, “We were very impressed with the level of entries from the students. The winning design has drawn inspiration from the original period of the building which has been given a contemporary feel by using modern and historical finishes. This design will help to create a more welcoming environment for patrons using the Balcony Bar. It is wonderful to be able to work with these young people developing their skills in a live project where they will see their concepts turned into reality.”

The winning design was by Mary Norledge from Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. Thrilled at the opportunity to see her design become a reality the final-year student says:
“This is an incredible opportunity. It’s great to be working for a real client on a real project in such a prestigious location. This is incomparable to anything I’ve done so far and could be a real springboard for my career.”

As well as seeing her design become a reality Mary will also receive £500 from Mayflower Theatre.

In addition to receiving £250 each, the two runners up will also see elements of their work incorporated into the final design. Lucie Dinsmore’s 3D words coming out of the walls will spell out the theatre’s history, while Tiffany Evans’ contemporary benches will give audiences somewhere to relax with their refreshments.

Glenda Strong, Senior Lecturer Interior Design Decoration says: “I would like to thank the Mayflower for giving our students this amazing opportunity to develop their working practice. To get hands on experience of working with real clients on live projects is invaluable to our students’ development.

“It isn’t often you get to work on a listed building that is so important to a region. This will be a wonderful springboard for the winners’ careers.”