Mikron’s canalside theatre company couldn’t have picked a better time to steam into Oxfordshire with two new shows to enjoy.

Making full use of the gorgeous weather with its waterside locations, first up is Revolting Women, a look at the 100 years since the suffragettes, while exploring how far we have come since then.

“A huge amount of research has been poured into Revolting Women by our playwright Vashti Maclachlan. It is her first commission and we are delighted with it,” producer Pete Toon says.

Get Well Soon is the second string to Mikron’s summer season bow and celebrates Nye Bevan’s dream of the NHS while looking back at its 70 years of service, a choice that is perfectly positioned considering the pivotal situation facing the health service currently.

“When Teresa May announced she was pouring billions into the NHS and might have to raise taxes, we had to keep rewriting the script,” Pete laughs.

Written by Ged Cooper, all is not well at St Monica’s Hospital. They’re on life support; facing bugs, bed-blockers and a battle to save A and E.

Hospital boss Simon talks the talk but can he walk the walk? His dad’s had a stroke and his daughter’s in revolt. Now hungry businesses, with an eye on profits, are after a slice of the action.

Complete with songs, drills and ditties, Get Well Soon is more Horrible Histories or music hall than a serious drama, yet it still addresses the serous issues confronting the health service.

“The NHS is always going to be flawed because it was originally set up to help labouring mothers and the working classes who couldn’t afford to go to the doctors.

“But the last song is The Ship Of Hope because fundamentally we believe in the vessel that is the NHS and we hope it keeps going for another 70 years,” Pete concludes.

If all this sounds a bit earnest, bear in mind that the plays are staged in pubs and cafes along the canal, and the audience will most likely be watching with a drink in hand.

So how has Mikron continued for so long? “You can never get too formulaic. You need to keep a balance and to keep it entertaining,” Pete says.

“The culture has changed so much in the past 40 years in every sense, but going out and enjoying a theatrical production is still a treat, and I think that is why we are still here.”

And with a 50th touring anniversary approaching, and Arts Council Funding looming, Mikron looks set to go from strength to strength aboard its trusty vintage boat Tyseley.


July 28 The Teapot Tearooms, Faringdon

July 31, Waterfront Cafe Benson

August 2, The Plough Inn, Long Wittenham

August 3, Eynsham Cricket Club

August 8, Plough Inn, Oxford

August 9, Boat Inn, Kidlington

August 10, The Rock of Gibraltar, Woodstock

August 11, Friends of Mikron ‘Summer Do’, The Pig Place, Banbury

August 12 North Aston Village Green, Bicester

August 15-16, Wharf House, Cropredy