Best Foot Forward. Mikron takes Maeve Larkin YHA drama to UK hostels


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The award-winning Mikron Theatre is set to premiere Maeve Larkin’s new play about the history of Youth Hostelling – Best Foot Forward.

The new play will tour from the March to October and will be performed in a number of youth hostels throughout England.

Something’s afoot at Pearling Manor and it isn’t just the walkers. The beautiful hostel, rich in YHA history, is lovely but falling apart.

External forces are out to grab it and turn the building into a golf club. Cue Connie, first ever warden, with a heart as big as her rucksack. She goes on a journey through the YHA’s past in the hope of securing its future.

Playwright Maeve Larkin said: “I’m chuffed to be back with Mikron, with a subject close to my heart. Writing for Mikron about the YHA felt like a marriage of minds. And as both have an appetite for wanderlust the passion is kept alive! It’s been a pleasure to write”

Mikron’s artistic director, Marianne McNamara, who will be helming Best Foot Forward, added: “In our 46th year of touring, we’re thrilled to welcome back Maeve after the huge success of ‘Raising Agents’, our Women’s Institute play in 2015.

“Maeve has brought her trademark humour, pathos and faultless research to Best Foot Forward. We’re so excited to be touring the show all year to both Youth Hostels and our regular non-theatre venues. The YHA have been amazing to work with and we can’t wait to welcome audiences across the nation to one of our 150 venues”

This year Mikron Theatre Company will embark on their 46th tour. This unique company travel around the country by the inland waterways on their vintage narrowboat, Tyseley, and will be playing at 150 venues this year

The company are like no other. They tour for most of the year on board a vintage narrowboat and put on their shows in places that other theatre companies wouldn’t dream of.

So far there has been a play about growing-your-own shown in allotments; a play about bees performed next to hives; a drama about food taken to audiences in fields and farm shops – and now about hostelling which is being performed in youth hostels around the UK.

Based in the village of Marsden, at the foot of the Yorkshire Pennines, Mikron Theatre Company annually contract a company of four actor-musicians and commission two shows with original music.

The shows, routed in social and contemporary history, tell the stories of ordinary people caught up in big events, always in a way that is witty, fun and accessible.

Best Foot Forward will be touring nationally from March alongside another brand-new show In At The Deep End, a celebration of two hundred years of the RNLI

This Maeve’s 4th play for Mikron. She has written for the BBC and, as an actor, appeared in, among others, Othello with Lenny Henry; Wars Of The Roses, Henry V and A Woman Killed With Kindness (Northern Broadsides); and A Comedy Of Errors (RSC). Her TV credits include: Citizen Khan, Moving On, Waterloo Road, Heartbeat, Emmerdale, The Royal and The Forsyte Saga.

BEST FOOT FORWARD 2017 DATES

March 28, The Leggers Inn, Dewsbury
March 29, Wetherby Whaler, Guiseley
March 30, YHA York
April 01, St. Helens Central Library, St.Helens (matinee)
April 01, Birch Community Centre, Brighton Grove, Manchester
April 2, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield
April 4, YHA Liverpool, Liverpool
April 6, Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre, Oldham
April 7, Emmanuel Church – Gawber WI
April 8, Marple Senior Citizen’s Hall,Stockport
April 11, The Swan, The Square, Saddleworth
April 12, YHA Castleton Losehill Hall, Hope Valley
May 11, YHA Ambleside, Waterhead
May 13, YHA Boggle Hole, Mill Beck, Fylingthorpe, Whitby
May 21, Stirley Community Farm, Off Hall Bower Lane, Huddersfield
May 30, Victoria Hotel, 85 Dovecote Lane, Nottingham
June 2, YHA Coalport, High Street, Telford
June 7, Heart of England Pub & Restaurant, Northampton
June 8, The Canal Museum, Nr Towcester
June 11, Parkside House Hotel, Milton Keynes
June 16, The Grand Junction Arms, Bulbourne Road, Tring
June 17, Framfield Allotments, Hanwell, London
June 18, Mudlarks Community Garden / Scott House, Hertford
June 20, The Rising Sun, Berkhamsted
June 22, The Three Horseshoes, Winkwell
June 29, YHA Bath, Bath
June 30, YHA Eden Project, The Eden Project
July 14, Bourne End WI, Bourne End
July 23, North Aston Village Green, Bicester
July 26, The Trout Inn, Lechlade On Thames
July 27, The Rowbarge, Reading
August 1, Waterfront Café Benson, Benson Marina
August 2, The Plough Inn, Abingdon
August 5, Alcester War Memorial Town Hall,Alcester
August 6, Foundry Wood, Leamington Spa
September 17, Gilroy Community Allotment Site, Wirral
September 29, Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond
September 30, Old Malton War Memorial Hall, Malton.

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