A TRIPLE cash boost has ensured the future of a Huddersfield theatre company.
Mikron Theatre Company – which travels the country on a narrowboat – had faced grave fears because of rising costs.
Like so many other independent arts companies, the harsh reality of survival at a time of economic slowdown has been far from idyllic for the Marsden-based group.
The past few years have seen Mikron fighting for survival in the face of funding cuts, although generous donations from the company’s many fans have kept them afloat.
Now the company has another reason to celebrate as they have learned that they have been successful in bidding for funding.
A grant from Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation, which will run for two years, will help to cover some of the company’s core running costs, whilst a grant from the Arts Council England will pay for the research and development of the two new scripts for 2013.
A further grant from The Leche Trust will support the writing of one of 2013’s new shows.
Mikron celebrated their 40th birthday, with a 2012 tour of the country on their vintage narrowboat, Tyseley.
Touring via the canals and rivers is what makes the small Yorkshire-based company so very special.
Since 1972 Mikron has taken theatre to places off the beaten track; performing at canal-side pubs and village halls, as well as in museums, village greens, boatyards, allotment sites and other unusual venues.
The company of four actor-musicians lives on board Tyseley from May to September, carrying with them all the props, costumes, scenery and musical instruments.
Mikron’s producer, Pete Toon, said: “We’ve really been up against it recently, but our audiences have rallied round and supported us, through fundraising on our behalf, or donating money themselves.
“Our shows are always about the stories of the ordinary people caught up in the big events in history and I think it’s that theme of “the common man” that people really value about Mikron’s work.
“We are obviously chuffed to bits with this news and with the boost to our funds comes a boost to our morale as well.
“These decisions show that the funders believe in our work”.
With 2012’s season now finished, the company is readying itself for the 2013 when it will be touring two brand new shows; ‘Beyond the Veil’, a crime thriller with a sting in its tail that explores bees and beekeeping; and ‘Don’t Shoot the Messenger’, a high speed journey through the postal service from earliest days to present.