Work has completed on the foyer and bar refurbishments at The Point in Eastleigh, and the impressively designed new theatre lobby is now open to the public.
Imagined by top London interior designer Naomi Doran of Relic Interiors, the theatre now has a much more warm and welcoming atmosphere, complete with wooden floorboards, neon box office sign and artwork provided by local artists from Eastleigh’s designer-maker studio The Sorting Office.
Artists Sheena Bond and Mariska Parent have combined their talents in ceramics and print to create a bespoke 2 x 1.5m tile panel located behind the bar inspired by the ornate archway over the old town hall entrance to The Point. Textile artist Claire Vine and visual artist Eve Dawson have created two wall-mounted memory boxes showcasing photographs, props and costumes from the theatre’s archives.
In addition to making use of the considerable creative talent at The Sorting Office, Southampton carpenter Stuart Galpin was commissioned to make the new dining tables, waiters station and bar unit and shelving using reclaimed timber from the Southampton Wood Recycling Project.
Southampton-based artisanal bakery Boulangerie Victor Hugo will supply a taste of France at the new-look café with pastries, croissants and bread while wine merchants Alexander Hadleigh of Locks Heath have curated a high-quality wine list that won’t break the bank.
The redevelopment represents the last phase in a series of infrastructure improvements at The Point funded by a joint investment of £450,000 from Arts Council England and Eastleigh Borough Council over the last 18 months, ahead of the popular theatre’s 20th-anniversary celebrations in 2016.
Relic Interiors’ Naomi Doran said:
“I enjoyed this project a lot more as my work is usually for the private sector, and I feel really privileged to have been selected to work on such an important building for the community of Eastleigh.
“I’m very happy with the way it’s turned out, as it’s been such a massive transformation, and the whole place feels much more warm and inviting.
“I’d have to say my favourite part is the glossy red window frames – they are just so striking and probably the most beautiful windows that I’ve ever worked with.”
Executive director at The Point AlanWright said:
“Naomi has an incredibly impressive track record in designing pub and café interiors, and when choosing between those that had pitched for the commission, she was the unanimous option.
“There have only been a few minor changes to her original design that we’ve had to make, but every time she has immediately responded and adapted to them.”
The conclusion of the improvement work coincided with the opening of The Point Youth Theatre’s production of Beauty and the Beast, which ran during the Christmas period.