The Beacon – “Oliver Messel: An International Story of Local Significance” Exhibition

A collection of drawings by one of the country’s legendary theatre designers of the 20th century, Oliver Messel, was opened at The Beacon in Whitehaven and funded in part by the Copeland Community Fund. Over 6000 people came to see the exhibition with over 300 young people getting involved in draft sessions and workshops.

The exhibition told the story of Oliver Messel and his connection with Rosehill Theatre. The exhibition, produced in collaboration with Rosehill Theatre, is the largest exhibition of the famous designer’s work outside of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Messel was not only responsible for the interior designs of The Bath Assembly Rooms (1963) and The Dorchester Hotel (1953), but he was also the genius behind the interior of Whitehaven’s Rosehill (1959).

He also had strong links with the town through Sekers silk manufacturers and was a friend of Rosehill’s founder, Miki Sekers.

Oliver Messel’s Nephew Thomas Messel was there to open the exhibition.


£10,000 additional funding drawn into the area
Additional visitors attracted to Copeland
Partnership working between the Beacon and Rosehill
Partnership working with the Victoria and Albert Museum
Second long term loan of designs to Rosehill