2022 sees the Golden Anniversary of Mikron Theatre Company, a group of travelling players based in Marsden, high up in the Pennines near Huddersfield.
Mikron, whose name is a contraction of Mike (Lucas) and Ron (Legge), who founded the company, takes theatre right back to its roots when travelling players would arrive at a village or town in a horse-drawn carriage from which they would act out pieces of established plays or specially written pieces to those who otherwise would not have a chance to visit a permanent theatre.
Most of the works were about subjects of interest to the local inhabitants or even items of news which might not yet have reached them. When the show was over they would pass round the hat to collect coins, pile back into the cart and move on to the next settlement.
This practice died out with the urbanisation of the country and the setting up of formal theatres, playhouses and music halls in most towns and cities, but Mikron has bucked the trend and provides entertainment to communities in their own midden, well they are from Yorkshire.
I have had the pleasure of seeing them perform in a Working Men’s Club and a Fish and Chip Shop which gives you some idea of the unorthodox way they present their original plays. They have also used Allotments and a Lifeboat Station as well as pubs and car parks for our cultural edification.
The main difference between these intrepid travellers and their forebears is that they have ditched the horse and cart for a narrowboat named Tyseley on which they spend the summer chugging along the canals and waterways of the UK, mooring and entertaining at pre-booked venues.
When they are not using the narrowboat for transport, they revert to the conventional van to get them to gigs, which also widens the area in which they can operate.
The 50th Anniversary Tour is very extensive and showcases their new play Red Sky at Night, along with Raising Agent a celebration of the Women’s Institute. For full details please got to https://www.mikron.org.uk/tour_dates Don’t forget to read more about the history of the company and visit the shop whilst you are there.