Thursday, March 02, 2017

Manchester Super Mare not Manchester by the Sea

Manchester by the Sea received six nominations for this year's Oscars and won in two of those categories - Best Actor and Best Screenplay.

I've not seen the film and, reading about it, I was disappointed it had nothing to do with Lancashire. It is set in the town of Manchester-by-the-Sea in Massachusetts.

But I did once see a play called Manchester Super Mare and that did concern the North West of England.

Mikron Theatre is a British theatre company that tours the country by narrow boat in the summer and by road in spring and autumn.

They visit every conceivable type of venue, reaching audiences that other companies cannot, And they have been doing so for more than 50 years.

You can read all about that history on the Mikron Theatre Co, website (from which I have, ahem, borrowed this image).

Back in 1985 I saw Mikron Theatre at Foxton Locks near Market Harborough.

The evening was a double bill. There was Just the Job, which told the story of a family's first canal holiday.

And there was Manchester Super Mare, which was about the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal.

This was an era when stubble burning was allowed, and I remember they were doing it in nearby fields as dusk fell that evening.

And I remember one of the actors in those plays.

Mark Williams - from The Fast Show, the Harry Potter Films and Father Brown - was a member of the Mikron company between 1983 and 1985.

Oh and 1985 was the year the Liberal Party Assembly was organised from two semi-converted narrow boats moored at Foxton.

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