IT’S an odd place to tell a tale of love.
An allotment is hardly a place of romance but then again, Mikron do like to do things a little differently.
And by the end of Losing the Plot, it’s certain theatre-goers won’t be walking away thinking they’ve lost the plot, but that they have witnessed a unique theatre performance.
Marsden-based theatre company Mikron’s new show, Losing the Plot tells the tale of love – love between people and the land, love between people and people, and love between people and their giant vegetables.
It’s one of two shows which Mikron will tour this year including on the country’s waterways this summer.
Written by Deborah McAndrew and directed by Adam Sunderland, this new show Losing the Plot tells the stories of the gardeners of Thistledale Allotments, a rag-bag bunch of diggers and dreamers.
Strong personalities frequently clash over the best treatment for mealy bugs, and the annual ‘Heaviest and Longest’ competition is always a time when old feuds and new flirtations threaten to undermine the fragile peace.
Then Harvey from the Council pays a visit and the gardeners realise that they must pull together, or forfeit their precious plot forever.
But can they agree on a strategy? How will they convince Harvey of the vital role allotments have played in the life of the nation for centuries? What will they do when things inevitably get out of hand?
Mikron’s Artistic Director, Marianne McNamara commissioned Losing the Plot last summer and said: “Mikron have always told the story of events, innovations and movements through the eyes of ordinary people and communities.
“Losing the Plot explores the history of allotments, and how they are thriving these days in a time when self-sufficiency is making a resurgence.”
While Mikron are perhaps more used to a narrowboat than a muddy allotment, it’s a place they feel at home.
“As part of a company who tour by narrowboat, I have been struck by the similarities of the two communities, in which people from all different walks of life cross each others’ paths,” Marianne added.
Told in true Mikron style, with a rollicking mix of old music hall tunes and brand new songs, big characters, inventive storytelling, and the odd scarecrow thrown in for good measure, Losing the Plot is a tale of earthy pleasures and pitchforks at dawn.
Its writer Deborah McAndrew has written extensively for the stage, her recent work includes an adaptation of Accidental Death of an Anarchist for Northern Broadsides and Oliver Twist for Bolton Octagon Theatre.
She is also known to fans of Coronation Street as Angie Freeman, who she played up until 1998.
Adam Sunderland is the play’s director.
A Marsden-based actor and director, his recent credits include The Water Babies, Heidi – A Goat’s Tale and Treasure Island all for Northern Broadsides.
Adam’s show Heidi was nominated for a TMA award in 2009.
The outdoor play comes as Marsden-based Mikron celebrate their 40th birthday touring the country by the inland waterways on their vintage narrowboat, Tyseley.
l See Losing the Plot at The Hub, Kirkburton, on Monday May 21 at 7.30pm.
Show enquiries on 017001484 607189 but there is no need to book tickets for this show, as a pay-what-you-will collection will be taken by the company after the performance.
For more details visit www.mikron.org.uk.