We are sad to announce the tragic death of Michael Hagen, following a lengthy illness.
Mick, as he was known to us all, was the inspiration behind the vision for the Acorn Theatre in Worksop. At a time when the Council was indicating a reluctance to further its interest in the Regal Centre, he put forward a proposal that saved the former United Reformed Church Hall building from potential demolition. In 2005 the URC had entered into partnership with the Methodist Church and were in the process of building the super new Crossing Church and Centre. With no further use for the church hall and with demolition costs likely to be extremely costly, he persuaded the URC to lease the building as a theatre and the Acorn project came into being.
The original concept was for a full-sized theatre with fully-flown scenery and tower, raked seating in the auditorium, studios, bar, meeting rooms and extensive changing facilities.
With major changes to the Lottery funding arrangements at the time of the Olympics, this magnificent dream had to be moderated but the theatre nevertheless opened with the original church hall stage, in 2006. The Acorn, today, boasts a stage the size of that of the Regal, a full size bar, changing rooms and the Oak Suite extension, built in 2008, provides a large rehearsal/meeting room or lounge area. The Acorn runs as a charity and the board is hoping to secure funding to extend the premises further with new toilet facilities and a dance studio.
Sadly, Mick will never see this but he must take great credit for where the theatre is today. As a community theatre it provides a wonderful venue for groups from all over Bassetlaw. It regularly presents amateur theatre, dance shows, musicals, musical concerts and some small professional productions. Importantly, it gives hundreds of young people the opportunity to develop their artistic talents in a positive way.
Mick Hagen was the honorary treasurer throughout this period and anyone who has been to the theatre will probably have met him doing front of house duties, stage managing or working in the lighting box. A cabinet maker by profession ( he once ran his own business ) he has designed some magnificent sets which have been constructed by the Acorn Technical Team. He and his wife Christine, helped by their daughter Kate, have worked tirelessly over the years to make the venture a success. Everyone who knew him will sorely miss the effort he put into the project accompanied always with a very unique and dry sense of humour.
Following the committal in Mansfield there will be a Thanksgiving Service at the Crossing Church at 4pm on Thursday 30th July. At the end of the service, friends and relatives are invited to gather at the Acorn Theatre.
Our thoughts are with his family.