Now in their 46th year, Mikron Theatre Company make a welcome stop at Castleton’s Youth Hostel at Losehill Hall on Wednesday April 12 as their national tour Best Foot Forward travels throughout the region.
They always promise to delight audiences with energetic, fresh and original tales of our national institutions and the social histories of everyday people.
This year it’s the turn of YHA England and Wales to get the Mikron treatment. Best Foot Forward, written by Maeve Larkin and directed by Marianne McNamara, traces the history of youth hosteling from its inception in 1911 in the mind of a young German teacher-soldier who found himself in No Man’s Land at the Christmas Truce, through to its founding in Britain in the 1930s and right up-to-date with modern Youth Hostels still holding true to the founding ideals.
Of course, the history of YHA has been full of ups-and-downs and there have been difficult paths and boggy lands to navigate along the way, and Maeve Larkin’s fast-paced and funny script is full of memorable characters, shenanigans and peril, and even a hint of romance along the way; all brought to life by a hugely talented team of four singing, instrument-playing, character-swapping actors.
In the tale something’s afoot at Pearling Manor and it isn’t just the walkers. The beautiful Youth Hostel, rich in YHA history, is lovely but falling apart. External forces are out to grab and turn it into a golf club. Cue Connie, first ever warden, with a heart as big as her rucksack. She takes us on a journey through the YHA’s past in the hope of securing its future.
Caroline White, chief executive of YHA (England and Wales), said: “The YHA network has changed beyond recognition in recent years, however many people still remember the days of wardens, chores and curfews. Thankfully, these are long gone but they are absolutely part of YHA’s rich history and what better way to celebrate it than with comedy in this brilliant production.
“I am delighted that through our partnership with Mikron Theatre Company we can bring Best Foot Forward to the thousands of visitors we welcome to Youth Hostels each year.”