A COLLEGE alumnus and best selling author has opened Barton Peveril’s remodelled theatre.

The sixth form college in Eastleigh welcomed back BAFTA award winning, David Nicholls, to open the extensively remodelled Rose Theatre on June 23.

The theatre, which underwent a £1.35m reconstructions now boasts 372 seats, fully updated technical infrastructure and offers another, larger functional space for students to practice and perform for college productions.

The reopening included a range of performances from students, before Nicholls unveiled a mural commemorating the event.

Nicholls, who completed his studies at Barton Peveril in 1985, reminisced of his time at the college and spoke of its inspiration for some of his writing.

After leaving, he studied English and Drama at the University of Bristol and worked as an actor before turning to writing.

He is now the author of five bestselling novels, including One Day, Us and Sweet Sorrow and has written for film and TV, winning a Best Writer BAFTA for Sky Atlantic’s ‘Patrick Melrose’ in 2019.

He said: “I’m sure I wouldn’t be a writer if it wasn’t for my time there and it’s a real thrill to return, to see the fine new spaces and the brilliant work the students are doing.

“Opening a theatre is not something my student self could ever have imagined and it really is a great honour.”

Barton Peveril Principal Jonathan Prest added: “David expressed his views on the vital importance of creative arts in education. He highlighted the skills of teamwork; of self -reliance; of self-discipline and creativity.

“I am thrilled to now have a truly flexible and larger facility in which our students can perform.”