Yorkshire based Mikron start fundraising appeal for 50th anniversary year with future of company at risk
The unique canal-based Yorkshire theatre company, Mikron Theatre, are launching a new fundraising appeal that aims to help them reach their incredible 50th year of touring.
Mikron Theatre Company, who have been touring the UK’s canals, rivers and roads for the past 48 years, have had to cancel their entire 2020 season, but with help from their supporters and the general public they aim to be back in 2021 for the 50th year of touring.
In April this year, the Huddersfield based company were due to tour two new plays to over 130 dates and were busy planning their 50th year of touring in 2021. Then the Coronavirus epidemic hit.
Since making the decision not to tour, Mikron took Arts Council England’s advice and have been helping the community in their home village of Marsden, West Yorkshire. They have repurposed their office and van to assist with the village COVID-19 mutual aid group ‘Marsden Help’ and have delivered hundreds of food parcels and prescriptions to self-isolating and vulnerable families.
The company’s Artistic Director Marianne McNamara said:
“We’re so incredibly sad not to be touring. In the early stages of the Coronavirus outbreak we looked at every possible combination, but none of them were practical.
What I would not give to see Mikron performing at a Canalside venue to a large crowd with the sun setting behind us. We see the same faces in different places year on year and we really miss them but the safety of the cast and crew, venues and of course our loyal audiences, had to come first.”
Based in the village of Marsden, at the foot of the Yorkshire Pennines, Mikron Theatre Company are like no other. For starters, they tour for most of the year on board a vintage narrowboat, secondly, they put on their shows in places that other theatre companies wouldn’t dream of; a play about growing-your-own shown in allotments, a play about bees performed next to hives, a play about chips to audiences in a fish and chips restaurant, as well as plays about hostelling in YHA Youth hostels and the RNLI at several Lifeboat stations around the UK.
2021 will, with the success of this appeal, see Mikron tour two brand new shows; Amanda Whittington’s Atalanta Forever which tells the story of Women’s football in the 1920s and Polly Hollman’s canine comedy caper A Dog’s Tale.
Since they were formed in 1972 they have written 64 original shows, composed and written 384 songs, issued over 236 actor musician contracts, spent 30,000 boating hours on the inland waterways, covered 530,000 road miles, performed over 5060 times and performed to over 428,000 people
COVID19 has dealt the Yorkshire based theatre company a potentially catastrophic blow and they need help to ensure that they get back on their feet, back on the road, and back on the water.
With no income from shows, no merchandise, no programmes, or raffle in the budget, Mikron are currently looking at a shortfall of £48,337.49. The entire management team is doing as much as they can to reduce costs month by month, but this simply is not enough. On current budgets the company will run out of money before their 50th year of touring in 2021.
With this in mind the acclaimed and much loved theatre company had no choice but to launch an appeal to raise £48,337.49 by the end of December 2020 to ensure that their 50th year of touring can go ahead and that Mikron has a future within the theatre industry.
For further information and to donate please visit www.mikron.org.uk/appeal . Donations can also be sent to Mikron Theatre, Marsden Huddersfield, HD7 6BW).