Being in England for the summer and exploring life beyond the capital is proving more entertaining than I had expected. I have long relished the many performance spaces of London, attracting as it does the most talented actors and musicians in the world.
This week I discovered a group that has been taking quality theatre around the regions for 45 years! It helped that they were performing outside a local pub, only five minutes’ walk from my door.
The Mikron Theatre Company narrowboat, the Tyseley, was tied up outside The Rising Sun on the Grand Junction Canal last night – just one stop on an extensive tour around the country by canal, river and rail, bringing dramatic entertainment to people on their doorsteps.
As well as fulfilling their objective to present accessible live theatre, they also provide opportunities for new talent in acting and writing, and use drama to heighten awareness of social, environmental and historical issues. They certainly appear to have a lot of fun achieving these.
It all began back in 1963 when founders Mike Lucas, Sarah Cameron and Ron Legge took a show to the Edinburgh festival. Mikron is the Greek word for small and it is also conveniently drawn from the names of MIKe, RON and Sarah CameRON. Each year they perform two original plays.
I have seen a number of them and they are always emotional, informative, challenging and most importantly, laugh-out-loud funny. The four performers played a multitude of characters and musical instruments, the songs were clever and well-sung.
Live performance is thrilling; that feeling you get when you know these talented people are giving their all just for YOU in THIS moment. The fact that it was outdoors on a summer’s evening beside a friendly English pub with a pint and a Ploughman’s Lunch to hand (cue the Real Ale and Stilton), well that made it just wonderful.
So if you are travelling in England this summer or autumn make sure you look out for the Mikron Theatre Company.
By Natasha von Geldern