Barton Peveril Sixth Form College alumnus David Nicholls, author of many bestselling novels and BAFTA Award winner, opened Barton Peveril’s extensively remodelled Rose Theatre on Wednesday 23rd June 2021.
The Rose Theatre, which underwent a £1.35 million reconstruction, now boasts 372 seats, fully updated technical infrastructure (the latest lighting, staging and sound technology), and offers another, larger functional space for current students to practice and perform for their numerous annual College productions. The Rose Theatre’s remodelling was headed by architect Stride Treglown and constructed by Ascia Construction.
The reopening of the Rose Theatre included a range of performances from current Barton Peveril students, before Nicholls unveiled a mural commemorating the event. Nicholls reminisced of his time at the Hampshire-based College and spoke of its inspiration for some of his writing.
Nicholls completed his studies at Barton Peveril in 1985. He studied English and Drama at the University of Bristol and worked as an actor before turning to writing. Author of five bestselling novels, including One Day (2009), Us (2014) and Sweet Sorrow (2019), he has also written for film and TV and won the Best Writer BAFTA for Sky Atlantic’s ‘Patrick Melrose’ in 2019.
David Nicholls spoke of his time at Barton Peveril and the reopening of the Rose Theatre:
‘It’s a long, long time ago but I have such fond memories of my time at Barton Peveril. 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.’
Speaking on the Rose Theatre’s reopening, Barton Peveril Principal Jonathan Prest said:
‘It was a pleasure to welcome David Nicholls back to his former Sixth Form College to open the remodelled Rose theatre. 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.’