THE original Nuffield Theatre, at the University of Southampton, is to undergo its most comprehensive refurbishment since it opened more than 50 years ago.

Now home to NST Campus, the theatre will close its doors on April 19, 2020 in order for preliminary work and site investigations to take place ahead of detailed plans being drawn up.

Until then, Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST) will run a full programme at the site, including the current production of One Man, Two Guvnors, which runs until Saturday.

During the work, NST will continue to present a full programme of produced and touring work at their city venue in Guildhall Square.

Louise Coysh, associate director of arts and culture at the University of Southampton, said: “The university has invested significantly in the Nuffield Theatre over the years and in the producing theatre company that has run the venue. We look forward to working with Nuffield Southampton Theatres as we plan the refurbishment of this important campus landmark.

“The University is proud of our longstanding history as a patron and provider of the arts in Southampton. Our focus is on developing creative opportunities for our students, our staff and, importantly, our local communities. The refurbishment offers an exciting opportunity to consider how best we provide the highest quality student and visitor experience.”

Sam Hodges, Artistic Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, added: “We are delighted to be working with the University on the comprehensive refurbishment of its campus theatre. This collaboration heralds a new and ambitious future for both the cultural offer in the city and the relationship between Nuffield Southampton Theatres and the University of Southampton.”

In 1964, with support from the Nuffield Foundation, the University of Southampton built a theatre on its campus for the people of Southampton. The theatre was built by Sir Basil Spence, OM RA. The theatre was officially opened by Dame Sybil Thorndike on March 2.

In 1982, it became an independent producing theatre. NST won Regional Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards in 2015.

Further details of the refurbishment project will be available once the plans have been developed.