Next Stage Theatre Company at The Mission Theatre is delighted to announce that it has just received a new premises licence to allow the theatre’s audience capacity to expand from 100 to 150 in the Main Auditorium.

The Mission Theatre has always had the potential to seat a larger audience – historically the chapel used to seat over 250 – but the theatre seating has been restricted due to lack of fire exits.

However, thanks to the £50,000 conversion of the adjoining building, The Capsule, at the rear of the theatre into dressing rooms, a new exit has been created from the Main Auditorium and the Fire Officer has approved the increased capacity.

Bath and North East Somerset Council have now licensed The Capsule as an extension of The Mission and hence it can be used as a fire exit.

The Mission Theatre’s resident company – Next Stage – is now raising the funds necessary to purchase more seating and audience platforms to accommodate the increased numbers.

It is hoped that The Mission Theatre can offer the enlarged capacity to all visiting companies by September 2013 – welcome news since, for its busy Autumn season, the theatre is already fully booked.

Ann Garner, Theatre Director of The Mission Theatre, says:

“For several years now here at The Mission we have been aware of a demand for a larger audience capacity for end-on productions, Festival events, musical recitals, visiting speakers, conferences and films. I am delighted that we have now achieved our dream of increasing by half as much again the audiences we can welcome to The Mission. Whilst in-the-round productions for which we are renowned will probably still maintain the symmetry of the 100-seater arrangement, for all the other uses of our versatile space we can now offer a range of seating options between 100-150”.