We are the biggest theatre on the south coast with just over 2,270 seats in our auditorium. Our aim is to bring a diverse range of shows to Southampton, and we present a mixture of spectacular touring productions, from musicals - many direct from the West End – to dance, opera, drama, ballet and comedy.

We run as an independent theatre and operate as a charitable trust - we don’t receive direct funding from any external bodies, so all the money generated from tickets sales is invested back into the theatre, to support our community and education strategies and ensure the upkeep of our Grade II listed theatre.

Mayflower Theatre Trust's mission is to:

  • Fulfil the theatre’s potential to be the leading presenting theatre company in the country, with a distinctive, popular, effective and high-quality artistic programme.

  • Provide a theatre that is welcoming and accessible to all members of its community.

  • Make every effort to exploit commercial opportunities and operate efficiently, with the highest standard of customer service, to maximise benefits and value for money to our Board, patrons, producers and partners.
  • Value and invest in our people and develop their potential.

Our History

The Empire Theatre was established in 1928 by Moss Empires and changed its name in 1950 to the Gaumont when it was purchased by the Rank Organisation. In 1986 the theatre was bought by Southampton City Council, after a public enquiry, to prevent it from being turned into a bingo hall. The theatre was renamed Mayflower Theatre and reopened in February 1987 when The Mayflower Theatre Trust was established to manage the theatre.

Share Your Story with Us

We want to engage people of all ages to discover the stories of anybody who has visited throughout our history.

Read about our My Story project and take part


To be nationally recognised in providing inspiring experiences

Mission Statements

Mayflower Theatre Trust (MTT)

  • To preserve and maintain this theatre for the community and provide a diverse programme of quality arts experiences.
  • To secure Mayflower Theatre by ensuring it remains a sustainable charitable trust.

Mayflower Theatre Enterprises Limited (MEL)

  • To run a profitable set of quality businesses for the benefit of Mayflower Theatre Trust.
  • To maximise the use of the Theatre and its resources


We will be undertaking a refurbishment of our Grade II listed auditorium in summer 2018. Please consider a donation to our auditorium appeal. Your help is essential in securing our future.



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