Mansfield’s past to be celebrated next summer

NMAC11-2972-2''Launch of the Community Theatre Project in Mansfield after Lottery Funding was granted. 'Pictured L to R are; Chris Neil, Education Manager at the Palace Theatre, local writer Kevin Fegan, Rev David Fudger, Nick Turner Town Centre Manager, Coun. Kate Allsop, Irvin Robinson 2020 Chairman, Bev Smith Director of Regeneration and Andrew Tucker from The Palace Theatre.
NMAC11-2972-2''Launch of the Community Theatre Project in Mansfield after Lottery Funding was granted. 'Pictured L to R are; Chris Neil, Education Manager at the Palace Theatre, local writer Kevin Fegan, Rev David Fudger, Nick Turner Town Centre Manager, Coun. Kate Allsop, Irvin Robinson 2020 Chairman, Bev Smith Director of Regeneration and Andrew Tucker from The Palace Theatre.

A SPECTACULAR theatrical celebration of Mansfield’s past, present and future is set to take place in the town centre next summer.

Ambitious plans to stage a series of theatre pieces exploring the town’s history and culture have been given the green light after National Lottery and Arts Council England funding of more than £15,694 was approved.

Delighted Mansfield Palace Theatre education manager Christopher Neil, who is spearheading the project, said up to 200 performers from all parts of the town’s community would perform on stages around the Market Place, before coming together for a grand finale.

“We have worked very hard to secure this funding and we were delighted when we received the positive news,” he said.

“Our message is that this is a project involving the whole community.”

Now, funding of more than £22,000 is needed to fulfil the plans for the project - dubbed Project 2012, Mamesfelde to Mansfield.

Mr Neil plans to hold free workshops for schools and community groups involved in the production.

“Now is the time for people to come to us and tell us they want to get involved, and we are also keen to get out there and encourage participation from those ex-miners, ex-brewery workers and school workers who have got the different stories and ideas which are going to make this project come to life,” he said.

Award-winning playwright Kevin Fegan has been brought on board to research and write the plays, which will celebrate traditional occupations and activities including worship, brewing, mining, mills, markets as well as 20th Century industry and the future.

The project already has the support of the Mansfield 2020 business networking group, whose chairman Irvin Robinson is on the project’s steering committee, along with project partner Rev David Fudger, of St Peter’s Church.

The Mansfield Business Improvement District (BID) partnership and the Churches Trust have also expressed interested in supporting it.

Project leaders say the event is set to take place on 14th July following a week of celebrations organised by Mansfield District Council in support of the Cultural Olympiad - celebrations tied into the London Olympic Games being held next summer - and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, Coun Kate Allsop, said: “I am delighted that this innovative project will focus so much positive attention on our town centre. It is an excellent opportunity to help promote Mansfield.”

Any businesses who can help fund the project or donate services or goods should contact Christopher Neil on Mansfield 412951 or email cneil@mansfield.gov.uk.

Any groups wishing to get involved in the project can use the same contact details.