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A Very Happy Christmas and New Year to all from everyone at Next Stage and The Mission Theatre

Posted: Wednesday 20 December, 2017

With the festive period now in full swing, we here at The Mission Theatre are delighted to look back and reflect on what has been an amazing year.

Our in-house company, Next Stage,kicked off 2017 with a hilarious production of Habeas Corpus by Alan Bennett, which performed to sell out audiences every night. In February, Next Stage Youth tackled the incredibly challenging theatrical adaptation of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens adapted by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod. The production was a huge success and a phenomenal showcase of the talents of the young cast and crew. In April Next Stage took part in the Bath Comedy Festival for the first time, with the revival of the brilliant one-woman show My Brilliant Divorce by Geraldine Aron, featuring an impressive performance from established company member Kay Francksen. Our Summer season saw members of Next Stage and Next Stage Youth take on Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, adapted by Rachel Wagstaff, premiering it here at The Mission before touring to the Minack Theatre in Cornwall. This was Next Stage’s 10th production at the beautiful Porthcurno venue. Opening the Autumn/ Winter season and in honour of our patron, Sir Alan Ayckbourn, Next Stage actors trod the boards with Absent Friends. The youth and adult company then teamed up again in October in a production of Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian, adapted by David Wood – a beautiful, heart-warming production performed to sell-out audiences every show. Finally, rounding off Next Stage's busy 2017, the company produced Democracy by Michael Frayn, a highly-acclaimed show that finished off an exciting year of theatre for the company.

In addition to our own Next Stage productions The Mission Theatre has also played host to some amazing visiting companies - both old and new - and a number of festivals including, the Bath Comedy Festival, the Bath Fringe Festival, the Bath Children's Literature Festival and the Jane Austen Festival. From laugh-out-loud comedies to intense dramas, electrifying musicals to dazzling dance, one-man-shows to full cast productions, it has been an incredibly busy and exciting year at the theatre.

In July Natalie Hyde took over from Lydia Cook as Theatre Manager at The Mission. Lydia's was a hard act to follow, but Natalie has now been in post for 6 months, bringing her own brand of charm and enthusiasm to the demanding job. Natalie has enjoyed all the challenges so far and she is looking forward to seeing the range of treats we have coming up for you all in 2018. September saw Charlotte Claydon, a Bath Spa Graduate in Creative Arts (Drama and Creative Writing) take on the role of Office Assistant at the theatre. Charlotte has done a sterling job here for 4 months, but is leaving us now to pursue her longer term-goals and, of course, to take on her first directorship with Next Stage: Proof in April. Thank you, Charlotte.

2018 is set to be even busier than 2017, for both Next Stage and for The Mission Theatre. We hope to see you all in the New Year for another great programme of events. Kicking off January will be Next Stage's production of Look Back in Anger by John Osbourne. Tickets are already on sale and available online at The Mission Theatre website here or by calling 01225 428600 (Tickets are also available through Bath Box Office here or by calling 01225 463 362).

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all, from The Mission Theatre Team!

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