STAGE Best Foot For­ward

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - 15/REVIEWS - YORK YOUTH HOS­TEL SARAH FREE­MAN

There’s a song in Mikron Theatre’s two hour gam­bol through the his­tory of the Youth Hos­tel As­so­ci­a­tion which neatly sums up the theatre com­pany’s ap­proach.

The Wain­wright Ap­pre­ci­a­tion So­ci­ety pokes gen­tle fun at that breed of walker who knows as much about out­doors one-up­man­ship as they do Ord­nance Sur­vey maps. Acutely ob­served, cheeky, and just a little bit ir­rev­er­ent, it’s what Mikron do so well. The other thing the Mars­den­based com­pany does well is cast­ing. While an abil­ity to act goes with­out say­ing, the cast also have to play a cou­ple of mu­si­cal in­stru­ments, be will­ing to man the mer­chan­dise stall at the in­ter­val and with Mikron’s main form of trans­port a nar­row­boat they also need to be com­fort­able in con­fined spa­ces. It’s early days in this year’s tour­ing sea­son, but Rose McPhilemy, Craig Anderson, Claire Marie Sed­don and James McLean ap­pear the per­fect quar­tet.

There’s not a huge amount of plot, there never is, but there are some lovely mo­ments in Best Food For­ward, from the YHA’s un­likely ori­gins in Nazi Ger­many to the

Foot and Mouth epi­demic which at once threat­ened the fu­ture of the or­gan­i­sa­tion and brought out the very best in its mem­bers.

It’s the first time Mikron have played the YHA, but the tour will take them to al­lot­ments, churches, com­mu­nity cen­tres and art gal­leries as they take theatre out of its tra­di­tional con­fines and serve up an­other eas­ily di­gestible slice of so­cial his­tory.

At the end, McPhilemy, who plays Con­nie, the spirit of the YHA, waves the au­di­ence good­bye, hop­ing they have been en­ter­tained and learnt a little on the way. We have.

For full tour dates go to mikron.

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