In At The Deep End Review

RNLI, Scarborough – 24 May 2017.  Reviewed by Michelle Richardson

The award winning Mikron Theatre Company had the official launch of their latest production, In At The Deep End, at the RNLI in Scarborough on Wednesday.

Now in their 46th year they provided theatre anywhere for everyone by canal, river and road, they are based in Marsden, West Yorkshire. This year sees the company touring 2 brand new productions with 4 actor musicians. In At The Deep End, an RNLI story, written by Laurence Peacock is the second production.

I went along to the show with such high expectations after previously seeing Best Foot Forward in York, I am so glad to say I was not disappointed, it was certainly worth the travel.

This is about the history of nearly 200 years of the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, but is also a story about Skipwick and a current day coxswain, Darren and the relationships he has with his son Billy, his best friends’ widow, Hazel and the Lifeboat Station. He is a perfectionist, timing everything to the nearest second. His management style isn’t working and he has managed to demoralise his crew so much that they don’t want to be there and have made excuses to be elsewhere. He has to blackmail his own son into training to be a life boatman, unlike the other new recruit Shannon. She is overly keen, a swot and manages to put poor Billy to shame. We eventually see a rescue, which doesn’t go quite to plan, a successful fundraiser and recruitment drive by Hazel and Darren facing up to his demons and mending bridges.

The four actors, Craig Anderson, James McLean, Rose McPhilemy and Claire-Marie Seddon are exactly the same cast who are performing Mikron’s other production, Best Foot Forward. Again they have proved themselves to be a very talented and multi-skilled group, portraying different characters, singing and playing various musical instruments, from trombones to trumpets, guitars to flutes, very impressive! It is a fast-paced show with costume changes taking place before our eyes, all be it the adornment of such things as a wig and frills and the actors taking on their various roles. With songs such as Mayday, the opening number and The Lifeboat Inventors Club we get to see how well the whole cast work together.

I was lucky enough to attend the official launch at a real Lifeboat Station in Scarborough on Wednesday night. During the interval I got talking to a gentleman who had volunteered with the RNLI for 35 years, before retiring, it could not survive without people like him and donations received, their new lifeboat, The Shannon class, cost £2m.

I certainly couldn’t make such a trip without the obligatory fish and chip tea beforehand. What more could I ask for, a great show, lovely food and the good old British seaside?

Mikron are touring both shows around the UK until October, with the same 4 cast members. They are even performing both shows on the same day at different venues this Saturday, a fantastic feat. I still can’t get it into my head that they will be touring both shows. Try and catch at least one of their shows this year, you will not be disappointed!