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, who worked closely with Sir Richard Southern as consultant for the interior design and layout of the theatre, which was officially opened by Dame Sybil Thorndike on 2 March.
Nearly twenty years later on 1 November 1982, Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST) became an independent producing theatre funded by Arts Council England, Southampton City Council, the University of Southampton and Hampshire County Council. Over the next 25 years, NST came to be recognised as a major force in British theatre.
In 2013 Sam Hodges was appointed as the new Director of NST. He appointed a team of Associates to support his new creative vision for the company: directors Blanche McIntrye, Michael Longhurst, Natalie Abrahami, Abbey Wright, designer, Tom Scutt and playwright, Adam Brace. In 2014, to mark the 50th anniversary of the company and theatre, a group of Associate Actors were announced who act as ambassadors for NST. They are: Samantha Bond, Laura Carmichael, Tom Hiddleston and Celia Imrie.
In 2015 NST was awarded Regional Theatre of the Year at the Stage Awards. NST’s production of A Number by Caryl Churchill was named BBC News Entertainment theatre pick of the year, before transferring and playing to sell-out audiences at the Young Vic; and our production of The Hudsucker Proxy won Best Design at the UK Theatre Awards. Our new production of Fantastic Mr Fox, opened in Southampton before transferring to the Lyric Hammersmith and embarking on a UK and international tour during 2017.