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24 April 2017, 08:26 | Updated: 24 April 2017, 08:40
Southampton's Mayflower Theatre is planning a huge, £3.9 million refurbishment to mark its 90th anniversary next year.
The revamp of Grade II listed auditorium involves a planned closure in the summer of 2018 to complete the works.
The theatre has also launched a public fundraising campaign to help towards the cost of the project. 2018 marks the theatre's 90th Anniversary - the foundation stone was laid on 1 Feb 1928 and the theatre opened on 22 December 1928 with a performance of Winona.
So far the theatre has secured £2.54 million towards the cost of the project, but as a charitable trust which receives no direct public subsidy it needs help to raise the remaining £1.35 million.
Michael Ockwell, Mayflower Theatre Chief Executive said:
"Our wonderful theatre comes to life when our audience are sat in the auditorium, and now it is in need of a major refurbishment programme to secure its future. Plans include repainting the whole of the auditorium, moving the pit further under the stage and installing brand new seating in the Stalls and Circle. This work is essential not just to preserve the building, but to benefit the more than 500,000 people each year who enjoy visiting our theatre. It will provide higher levels of comfort, better access and more opportunities to experience live performance in Southampton."
Actor Shane Richie has been a regular favourite at Mayflower Theatre and said:
"Mayflower Theatre is a fantastic venue and I have loved playing here many times over the years. I genuinely ask that the public support the theatre in making the auditorium the very best in the country."