The Mercury Theatre's executive director Steve Mannix looks forward to what's in store ahead of the move to the "big top" on Abbey Field later this year.

We have sprung into April already and our spring season at the Mercury Theatre is well under way.

After a glitzy and successful production of Ain’t Misbehavin’, which had many sparkling reviews, we are now swiftly heading towards our final show before we temporarily close for refurbishment and move to our pop-up venue Mercury at Abbey Field.

This is a very exciting time for us as we are working closely with our local community to help raise the last few coins for our Mercury Rising project.

Even though there is just over a month before we close, our schedule is packed full of exciting shows and events.

We are specifically focusing on reaching out to our wonderful community and getting everybody involved, as well as holding events to raise money for a couple of lovely charities.

Most recently, we held a Scratch Night that gave Essex based artists an opportunity to perform a variety of work they produced themselves and to show off how talented they are.

The line-up included a vast range of performances from plays to short stories.

The evening was terrific and well received by our audiences.

Essex boy done good, Dermot O’Leary, also popped by recently to revisit his hometown with an event specifically for Essex schoolchildren.

He read extracts from his book, Toto the Ninja Cat, answered questions from the curious and the cheeky and even found time to sign a few books at the end.

Despite all these changes happening at the theatre, we still like to keep our traditions.

On Good Friday, we will be hosting the annual service led by Seeking God’s Blessing for Colchester, complete with music by Cantus Firmus and a guest speaker.

The service is free and admittance is on a first come first basis, so arrive early for a good seat.

We are also holding a hustings event on Tuesday, April 23 to give the people of Colchester a chance to ask the local election candidates any burning questions they may have.

There will be a panel representative from each local party and the event is free but tickets must be booked in advance.

Our final event at the Mercury as we know it is just around the corner.

The talented Rock Choir will be taking to our stage as we say farewell until 2020.

All proceeds from this event will go straight to our Mercury Rising project to help make our theatre better than ever.

We have a busy time ahead of us but the Rock Choir will send us off with a bang.

But don’t worry – we won’t be gone for long. We’ll be popping up in our temporary theatre on Abbey Field soon with our production of Oliver! featuring local actors from Colchester Operatic Society.

We hope to see you there.