Mikron Theatre Company
The Mikron Theatre Company is an English touring theatre company, founded in 1972, which is notable for its tours by canal boat during the summer months, and by road in the spring and autumn. The company believes itself to be the only theatre company in the world which tours by narrowboat.
The company had its origins in an Edinburgh Fringe show in 1963. The name "Mikron", as well as being a Greek word meaning "small", is derived from the names of the trio who went to Edinburgh in 1963: MIKe Lucas, Sarah CameRON and RON Legge. In 1972 the company performed its first waterways-themed production, and in 1975 it acquired its narrowboat, Tyseley.
The company is based in the town of Marsden, in West Yorkshire, although it spends the summer touring throughout the UK canal network. It claims to be "the UK’s most prolific theatre company" and in 2018 performed in 130 venues.
We have performed at allotments, care homes, community centres, dry docks, festivals, lifeboat stations, pubs, rallies, restaurants, village halls and Youth Hostels. We’ve even performed inside a tunnel, in the bows of a docked boat, in people’s very own front rooms and even the odd theatre!— From Mikron's website in 2018
The company is a registered charity and describes its activities as "Theatre anywhere for everyone by canal, river and road".
In 2017 the company offered 151 performances of its two commissioned plays, to a total audience of 14,668 made up of audience sizes from 14 to 250 but averaging 97, at 81% average occupancy and with 43 shows sold out, in 83 local authority areas.
On 17 March 2020 the company announced that its 2020 tour, due to start on 18 April 2020, was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. They had started to rehearse Atalanta Forever but not A Dog's Tale, and as of 22 May 2020[update] intended to stage them both on tour in 2021.
In 2015 it toured two shows: Raising Agents, written by Maeve Larkin and with music by O'Hooley & Tidow, which celebrated the centenary of the Women's Institutes, and One of Each written by Deborah McAndrew, about fish and chips and much else.
Mikron's 2016 tour featured Canary Girls by Laurence Peacock, about 1914 munitions factory workers (who were known as Canary girls because their skin turned yellow from working with toxic substances), and PURE by Richard Vergette, about the chocolate industry now and in the past.
In 2017 Mikron performed In At The Deep End about the RNLI by Laurence Peacock and Best Foot Forward about the Youth Hostels Association, by Maeve Larkin. Several performances took place in RNLI stations and YHA hostels respectively.
In 2018 Mikron performed Get Well Soon about the NHS in its 70th year, by Ged Cooper, and Revolting Women about suffrage to commemorate the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 by Vashti Maclachlan. Maclachlan has previously acted in the company and directed their 2009 production Tales of the Thames, which was written by her husband Richard Povall.
In 2019 the company presented Redcoats, a play about Butlins holiday camps by Nick Ahad and All Hands on Deck about the Wrens by Vashti MacLachlan. Their 9 August performance at the Toad Gin Distillery supported by British Naturism and Naturism Oxford is believed to be "the first professional theatre performance for a naturist audience, ever, in the UK. Their 31 August performance of All Hands on Deck took place in Liverpool's Western Approaches Museum, the setting for a scene in the play.
For 2020 the company commissioned A Dog's Tale by Poppy Holman about pedigree dogs and Crufts, and Atalanta Forever by Amanda Whittington about women's football and the short-lived Huddersfield Atalanta Ladies' Football Club, but the tour was cancelled.
The company's narrowboat Tyseley was built in 1936 for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company. She was built at Northwich by W.J.Yarwood & Sons Ltd. She is 71 ft 10 in (21.89 metres) long and 6 ft 11 in (2.11 metres) wide. She is registered with National Historic Ships.
- Conway, Robert (1988). British Alternative Theatre Directory. J. Offord. p. 76. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- "Introduction". Mikron Theatre Company. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- "Tyseley". Mikron Theatre Company. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- "History". Mikron Theatre Company. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- "Contact Us". Mikron Theatre Company. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- Mikron Theatre Company. 2018 Programme. p. 9.
- "Spring Tour Brochure 2020" (PDF). Mikron Theatre Company. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
- "Public Statement – Coronavirus". Mikron Theatre Company. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
- Gardner, Lynn (22 May 2020). "The Empty Space: What should have opened this week – A Dog's Tale on tour with Mikron Theatre". The Stage. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
- "Raising Agents". Mikron Theatre Company. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- Brennan, Clare (17 May 2015). "One of Each review – the joys of fish and chips explored". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "Canary Girls". Mikron Theatre Company. Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
- "Review: Canary Girls, Mikron Theatre Company, Clements Hall, York, and on tour until October 22". The Press, York. 3 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
- "PURE". Mikron Theatre Company. Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
- "In At The Deep End". Mikron Theatre Co. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
- "Best Foot Forward". Mikron Theatre Co. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
- 2017 Programme. Mikron Theatre Company. pp. 5, 16.
- "Shows". Mikron Theatre Company. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- "Tales of the Thames: Mikron Theatre Company". The Oxford Times. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
- 2018 Programme. Mikron Theatre Company. p. 5.
- "Our shows". Mikron Theatre Company. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
- "Want to watch a play naked? UK first as Mikron Theatre begins Oxford run at Toad Distillery in South Park". Ox in a Box. 6 August 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
- "Redcoats - Toad Gin Distillery - British Naturism Event". Mikron. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
- "A Dog's Tale". Shows. Mikron Theatre Company. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
- "Atalanta Forever". Shows. Mikron Theatre Company. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
- 2019 Programme. Mikron Theatre Company. p. 16.
- "Huddersfield Atalanta Ladies'FC". Donmouth. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
- "Tyseley". National Register of Historic Ships. National Historic Ships. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- Lucas, Mike (2001). I'd Go Back Tomorrow: Thirty Years of the Mikron Theatre Company. J. M. Pearson. ISBN 978-0907864899.
- Hickling, Alfred (1 September 2015). "Plays on the waterways: how Mikron turned a narrowboat into a theatre". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- Official website
- "Mikron Theatre Co. plays and actors 1972-2015" (PDF). Mikron Theatre Company. Retrieved 3 November 2015.[permanent dead link]
- Charity Commission. Mikron Theatre Company, registered charity no. 265169.