The Mission Theatre’s resident youth theatre company, Next Stage Youth, will be celebrating 25 years of existence next week. To mark this milestone, the company will be staging Philippa Pearce’s family favourite, the time-fantasy, Tom’s Midnight Garden.

A perfect half-term treat for all the family, Tom’s Midnight Garden tells the story of Tom, a young boy who is sent to stay with his Uncle Alan and Aunt Gwen when his brother, Peter catches measles. Tom, who is restricted from playing outside, lies awake after midnight, restless, when all of a sudden he hears the grandfather clock strike 13. When he gets up to investigate, he discovers that the hall door, which he’d been told opened onto a back yard, is the entrance way to a large, sunlit Victorian garden.

Every night the clock strikes 13 and Tom returns to the garden where he meets another lonely child, Hatty. As he explores the magical gardens with her, he soon discovers that she is not the only one who lives in the beautiful Victorian house and grounds. However, she is the only one who can see him!

Next Stage Youth was set-up in Autumn, 1994 and has been a vibrant part of the Bath scene for the last 25 years. The matinee of Tom’s Midnight Garden on Saturday 2 November will celebrate Next Stage Youth’s 25th anniversary when the cast will be performing to an invited audience of past members in front of the Mayor and Mayoress of Bath.

After the matinee performance, Next Stage Youth will hold a birthday party, at which there will be speeches, the cutting of a cake and the awarding, by Alan Casse, of the 10th Bridget Cassé Award for Excellence in Youth Theatre. This award goes each year to a youth member who has excelled in all aspects of theatre. It was set-up by Alan Cassé in 2010, in memory of his wife, a talented Next Stage actress Bridget Cassé, who also played a key role in Next Stage Youth as a tutor.

Next Stage tutors and actors have coached hundreds of youngsters in the last 25 years, preparing many for performances, auditions and competitions. Indeed, some of our talented young actors have gone on from Next Stage Youth to lead successful careers in the professional theatre.

Tickets for Tom’s Midnight Garden cost £12.50 (£10.50 concs), students/job-seekers £5.

‘Pay what it’s Worth’ Saturday matinee – tickets £1 to book a seat and then pay what you think the play is worth at the end.

Tickets available at Next Stage Bath Box Office 01225 428600
online www.missiontheatre.co.uk email email hidden; JavaScript is required For an extra £1, reserve your seat: call 01225 428600.