It’s a midweek summer’s evening and a York allotment has been changed into an impromptu theatre.
There is no stage as such and the auditorium is a series of mismatched chairs and a few gazebos, but it’s packed. The reason is that Mikron theatre is in town and the company, which has a long history of performing in unusual venues, has a loyal following.
In York, a few hundred have turned up to watch Pure, one of two shows the company is taking on tour this summer. Superficially it’s about the history of chocolate in Britain, but it’s also about big business and those who put profits before people.
While the allotments provide a nice enough backdrop, it’s also a fitting venue. Just up the road is the old Terry’s chocolate factory. Before it closed in the early 1990s it had not only been one of the city’s main employers, but it had also been one of those Quaker firms which believed in giving something back to society.
Within a couple of hours, the four-strong cast have deftly whipped through a couple of hundred years of history. These are a talented bunch. They can act, sing, play a myriad of musical instruments and in the interval they slip on an apron to sell the company’s merchandise.
The musical numbers are the undoubted highlight of the piece, but there is something lacking in this show. Those who start good, end good. Those who start bad, end bad. It’s all a little one-dimensional, but as the evening sun shone no one seemed to care too much.
Tour details at mikron.org.uk