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Posted: Friday 16 December, 2016
2016 has been a fabulous year for Next Stage Theatre Company. In January, we celebrated The Mission Theatre's 11th Birthday with a sell-out production of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit. In March, the company broke boundaries with a highly-acclaimed Bath premiere of a new play by James Fritz: Four Minutes Twelve Seconds. During May, Andrew Ellison and Kay Francksen delighted audiences with scenes from patron Sir Alan Ayckbourn's Intimate Exchanges and July saw a beautiful-staged version of Tennessee Williams' classic Suddenly Last Summer. There was another Bath-premiere in September with Jez Butterworth's The River, whilst young and old audience members were thrilled by dragons, horses and medieval knights in October when a large cast of Next Stage Youthers and adults performed a specially-written adaptation of The Dragon's Dentist. Finally, December saw a triumphant and much-praised production of Terence Rattigan' In Praise of Love.
January 2017 sees The Mission Theatre's 12th Birthday which we are celebrating in style with a riotous Next Stage performance of Alan Bennett's timeless comedy Habeas Corpus. Sadly though, before January, we are saying goodbye to Fiona, who has been with us for the last year, providing invaluable assistance in the Mission Theatre's office, whilst always having a welcoming and cheerful smile for all our visitors. Fiona starts a Masters' Degree in Culture, Critism and Curation in London in January and we wish her every success in her chosen career. Meanwhile, I am delighted to say that Izzy Ingledew will be joining The Mission team to replace Fiona in the New Year.
I am extremely grateful to all of you who support Next Stage in so many ways. Whether you are a member of Next Stage, a Front of House volunteer, a long-standing patron, a member of our Friends scheme, or a new audience member, all of us at Next Stage thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your endorsement of our vision.
Wishing you all a very merry Festive Season.
Ann and Andrew Ellison, Lydia Cook and Fiona Costelloe