Mikron Theatre Company – A Force To Be Reckoned With Review
TICKETS TO SEE THE SHOW WERE GIFTED TO THE REVIEWER AND GUEST FOR THE PURPOSES OF WRITING THE REVIEW.
Reviewed by Alison Rood
Mikron Theatre has recently celebrated their 51st Birthday. Since being established in 1972, they have been touring theatres (and non-theatres!) by canal, river and road.
The theatre company is known for staging its shows in some unconventional places. My experience was no different and took place on the cobbles of Manchester – in the courtyard of the Greater Manchester Police Museum. A great setting for a Police based production! Outdoor performances are always risky in England, especially the North West, but luckily the sun was shining for us and the cast of Amanda Whittington’s “A Force to be reckoned with”
I purchased a programme and I have to say that it was one of the best programmes I bought. Unlike most, it was a decent and interesting read. Made up of more than just a few photos and some lyrics. It describes the company, their history, their goals and their ethos – all of which I loved!
To the production itself….
After recently completing her police training and armed with a handbag and whistle, Iris Armstrong (Hannah Baker) is now a girl in blue. “A worthwhile occupation, a whole new generation, a service to the nation!”
Fresh eyed and bushy tailed, Iris prepares for her first day as a WPC on the beat. But it is the 1950s, and her first encounter with the local sergeant (Harvey Badger) and male PC (Eddie Ahrens) makes it clear that her male counterparts think that women should stick to typing and making the tea and leave the real crime to boys in blue.
Then in walks WPC Ruby (Rachel Hammond) – the only other female at the station. And after a shaky start due to a comedic case of mistaken identity, Ruby reignites the hope in Iris that women in the force CAN make a difference. Their friendship is sealed and the pair quickly become a formidable force – a force to be reckoned with!
Together, they are sent to deal with cases that involve women and children; from wayward women, to vulnerable teens, to female shoplifters (played brilliantly be Ahrens) and abandoned babies.
The Mikron Theatre Company pride themselves on increasing their audiences’ awareness of historical events. I do think that the production could have gone into the history a little bit more, but the titbits it did provide have given me food for thought and have inspired me to research more into the role women played and the sexism they have had to overcome. I found it astonishing to learn that whilst in 1975 women won the right to equal pay and to be considered for equal roles such as firearms and CID, they were not issued with truncheons until 1986.
The costume changes, accents, musical arrangements and songs all made for an energetic performance that kept me entertained from start to finish. Amanda Whittington, Greg Last and Dan McGlade excelled themselves, particularly with “Girls in blue”, “Songbird” and “A force to be reckoned with”
I would highly recommend going to see this show, and I will certainly be keeping my eye our for their future productions.
A force to be reckoned with runs until October 18th at various venues.
For more information on the tour of “A Force to be reckoned with” and other Mikron Theatre productions, please visit https://mikron.org.uk/
Ticket price varies depending on venue, with some venues being a “pay what you feel” pricing