Mikron Theatre stage two shows in a day

Now in their 46th year, Mikron Theatre Company make a welcome stop in Derby as their summer tour travels throughout the region.

They are always a favourite as they delight audiences with their energetic, fresh and original tales of the everyday people and national institutions. And this year is no different.

Mikron Theatre Company’s show In at the Deep End dives into two hundred years of saving lives at sea with the RNLI. It is a story of heroism and selflessness being shown at Clock Warehouse on May 27 at 1pm as the company arrive in Shardlow.

Mikron and their team of four  actor/musicians have turned their talents to recreating the history and modern-day challenges of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

 As expected from Mikron, the fast-paced plot zips backwards and forwards through the years, throwing up little-known facts and questions to ponder, all setting sail in a sea of live music and memorable characters.

Skipwick RNLI is all at sea. Crew members are hard to come by and Coxswain Darren’s management style isn’t helping. So when seventeen-year-old Shannon volunteers, it’s all hands on deck – particularly for Darren’s teenage son, Billy.

Can the station survive in this ‘me first’ age? Will eccentric fundraiser Hazel’s ideas ever turn a profit? And can Darren and Billy chart the choppy emotional waters closer to home?

With marvellous maritime music composed by Rebekah Hughes and fathoms of fun in Laurence Peacock’s brand new script, join Mikron as they celebrate a favourite National Institution; the RNLI.

Amy Casbolt, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager, says, ‘It’s really exciting that the Mikron Theatre Company is touring with a play about our lifesaving charity. The RNLI was founded in 1824 and our volunteers have a rich tapestry of inspiring stories to tell.

‘We’re delighted that the play will spread the word about the RNLI and its history. We are also very grateful that Mikron will donate 50 per cent of box office takings from shows which are hosted at RNLI venues, this will help us to continue our vital work of saving lives at sea.’

The second show they are performing that day is Best Foot Forward –- and it’s the turn of YHA (Youth Hostelling Association) to get the Mikron treatment. They are performing at 7.30m at Nottingham Road and District Allotment Association, in Chaddesden

Best Foot Forward is written by Maeve Larkin and directed by Marianne McNamara. The show traces the history of Youth Hostelling 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 30s and right up-to-date with modern hostels still holding true to the founding ideals.

Something’s afoot at Pearling Manor and it isn’t just the walkers. The beautiful 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), says, “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.”

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.

Marianne McNamara is justly proud of her role as Artistic Director of Mikron and adds, “I take the legacy of Mikron very seriously and our promise to make theatre everywhere for everyone.

“For 46 years Mikron has toured to places that other companies don’t, and that means we are often deep in heart of the countryside, with no venue nearby, or finding ourselves performing in the most unlikely of places – a boatyard, an allotment site, even inside a tunnel. And this year we will be adding Youth Hostels and Lifeboat Stations to the places we perform in! Our shows are often performed outdoors and for a majority of them you don’t even need to buy a ticket – we pass a hat around at the end.

“We love how informal our performances are, and make shows that we can all relate to, and enjoy, whoever we are and wherever we come from!”

Mikron Theatre have been touring their original brand of ‘theatre anywhere for everyone’ for 46 years, in the spring and autumn by road, and in the summer months on board their beloved historic narrowboat, Tyseley who is an impressive 80 years old!.

Both shows tour nationally from April until October 2017.