Set majestically on the banks of the River Thames, the Mill at Sonning Theatre is the only dinner theatre in the United Kingdom.
The site dates back to the eighteenth century and in 1977 Tim and Eileen Richards, who had a great love of theatre, found the derelict building and decided to convert it into a Dinner Theatre which opened on July 22nd 1982.
In summer 2014 Meraki Design Studio was appointed to come up with a new Creative Direction, Interior Design & Experience Concept for the Mill at Sonning. This beautiful, historical but tired flourmill in Sonning needed a glamorous uplift in order to tap into the huge wealth of the area and attract a younger (30’s plus) demographic.
The new interior design scheme is a marriage of the raw, exposed architectural elements of the Mill coupled with the splendor and glamour associated with the theatre, which it houses.
The design concept is layered both conceptually and literally.
Three layers create the interior identity for the space. That which was; that which is; and the link between the two.
The first layer is the building, wishing to expose and unearth the beauty of the industrious space, celebrating the Mills original architectural design and its tranquil setting. We chose to strip back the ceilings and expose the beautiful original oak beams.
The second layer is the theatre itself -The act of creating an experience - all loose items are associated with this concept. The furniture, decor, cutlery etc all carefully curated to enhance the experience. Bringing bits of the theatre into the rest of the space ie. industrial lighting, props, theatre chairs.
The link is an idea to seamlessly conect the two concepts. The modern concept of design for the theatre developed during the twentieth century. It was not until the 1920s that scenic design, or set design, was listed in the theatre programs as a production role. We are tapping into this era as a reference on style for the loose items so that the new decor is still appealing to the older clientele as well as younger adults.
Mill at Sonning box office