Mayflower Theatre – Visiting Southampton
First opened on 22 December 1928, The Mayflower Theatre is the largest theatre in the South. The venue offers spectacular touring musicals with many coming directly from the West End including Cats, The Lion King, The Rocky Horror Show and , as well as shows by the English National Ballet and Welsh National Opera. For those who like to laugh there's also a host of comedy favourites that visit the famous theatre including Jimmy Carr, Alan Davis and Noel Fielding.
The theatre was opened on 22 December 1928 by T. R. Milburn, an architect who designed a number of theatres in the UK. Originally called the Empire Theatre, its first show was a musical called Winona and became a cinema during World War II. Live acts continued after the war, including Julie Andrews in 1945. In 1950, The Empire became The Gaumont, slowly bringing back musicals.
A long list of popular bands and artists performed at The Gaumont during the late 50s and early 60s, including Buddy Holly and the Crickets, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones.
The theatre reopened as The Mayflower in 1987 after extensive refurbishment.
Dining and Refreshments
There are three bars which are open one hour before curtain-up and during intervals. Each offers a selection of wines, spirits, beer, soft and hot drinks. A draft lager and bitter is available in the Footlights and Circles Bars, Snacks are also available. Ice creams sales points are available in the auditorium. It is advised to pre-order your interval drinks when you arrive to avoid the rush.
Located at the rear of the stalls, the Footlights Bar serves sandwiches, toasties and other light bites. Have a look at the menu below to see what you can expect when you stop by. Footlights Bar Menu
Circle & Balcony Bars
The Circle Bar and lounge are located on the first floor and are a great place to met before a show. The Balcony Bar is on the third floor and is open when Balcony seats are available for a show.
For groups, corporate functions, or special occasions, the Empire Suite Bar and the Executive Suite are available for hire. The Empire Suite can host up to 50 people standing or 32 seated for dinner. Decorated with authentic 1920's wood panelling throughout, it also has its own well-stocked private bar.
The Ovation Restaurant is located on the third floor of the Theatre. For more information, visit the restaurant's dedicated page here.
Most productions are suitable for children, unless labelled otherwise. However, parents are advised that some may contains mild swearing, sexual subject matter or loud or disturbing effects.
Infants under 2 will not be admitted except to productions aimed exclusively at children. Similarly, children under 5 will not be admitted to Opera or Ballet performances.
- Merchandise – A stall is available in the foyer, to the left of the visitors’ exit.
- Toilets, disabled toilets and baby changing facilities are available.
- 2 lifts - Please note due to the age of the building, not all areas are accessible via lifts. If you require easy access seats, please ask when booking.
- Cloakrooms – An unattended area next to the circle lounge. Bags must not be left here.
- Booster seats - On a first comes first served basis. Visitors are welcome to bring their own.
- First Aid – Most of the Mayflower staff has received first aid training
- Visitor Information
Credit & debit cards payments are accepted throughout, with the exception of the ice cream sale points.
- The nearest cash point is at the railway station, located behind the Mayflower. Cashback service is available at all tills in the foyer and bars
Flashing lights may be used during shows. If this is known in advance, a warning will be posted on the show’s page on the Mayflower Theatre’s website
Theatre Tours (approximately 1 hour 30 minutes) are available. Prices range £2.50-£5.00