In 2011 Next Stage Theatre Company raised £50,000 to perform miracles, and has now transformed this dilapidated building into The Capsule: a much-needed backstage facility for The Mission Theatre.

After twelve months of negotiation, Next Stage Theatre Company acquired a long-term lease on the two-storey building at the rear of The Mission Theatre, known as The Old Bakery. The works began in January 2012 after an extremely successful fundraising appeal which raised £50,000 in just three months. In May 2012 Next Stage were delighted to open the new facilities, called The Capsule, at a gala performance of their production of The Winslow Boy. The completely renovated building now provides all the theatre’s performers with warm, comfortable, bright dressing rooms and gives Next Stage Youth the option of extra rehearsal spaces.

An added bonus of acquiring The Old Bakery is the fact that there is now access from the current Stage Right dressing rooms into the new building, thus enabling actors and performers in the Main Auditorium to exit from one side of the end-on stage and move backstage to the opposite side via the new dressing rooms.

Next Stage was extremely fortunate to secure matched funding from the Brownsword Charitable Foundation for this project so every pound we received for Space-Mission put us £2 nearer our goal of £50,000.

Andrew Brownsword (right) and Bob Calleja (left) with Ann Garner, the cast of “Shakers” and members of Next Stage Youth in front of The Old Bakery.

Artistic Director, Ann Garner, says:

“Andrew Brownsword’s support of Next Stage’s work at The Mission Theatre has been a major factor in the success of the building’s restoration. Next Stage renovated The Mission Theatre in just 6 weeks starting in November 2004 and opening as a fully functioning performing space in January 2005. We did it without public funding – the project was made possible by the dedicated hard work of our volunteers and the outstanding generosity of members, friends and supporters, including Andrew Brownsword. The last Brownsword Challenge here in 2007 provided matched funding to enable us to raise the £20,000 we needed to repair the old and leaking roof.”

Thank you to everyone who contributed to Space-Mission. Your support has been invaluable and of inestimable benefit to the hundreds of local actors, musicians, dancers, Festivals and youth companies who rehearse and perform at The Mission.

Full details can be found on The Mission Theatre’s website