Play review by Julia Pattison: Mikron’s Red Sky at Night at the Wetherby Whaler, Guiseley

Play: Red Sky At Night

Mikron's James Mclean, Thomas Cotran, Hannah Bainbridge and Alice McKenna. Photo courtesy of Liz Baker
Mikron's James Mclean, Thomas Cotran, Hannah Bainbridge and Alice McKenna. Photo courtesy of Liz Baker

Venue: Wetherby Whaler, Guiseley

Review by: Julia Pattison

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Mikron Theatre Company celebrated its 50th Birthday this week; long may this wonderfully vibrant and unique little company continue to bring professional theatre to our doorsteps in relaxed environments.

It was like being in the presence of a family that we’re all invited to be a part of; warm and friendly, the cast mingling with us all as we sat at our tables (enjoying scrumptious fish and chips before the show), gliding effortlessly from selling merchandise to seemingly spontaneously leaping into action with an opening song, One Big Sky.

Red Sky at Night is a love letter to the weather written by Mikron Newcomer Lindsay Rodden and ‘explores climate change, the human relationship with all things weather, and how the pioneers of forecasting worked without super computers and satellite imagery‘.

Eileen aka Mother Nature (Mikron newcomer Alice McKenna) acted as guide and narrator throughout the play. “Come On Eileen” was delightfully Puck-like in her comings and goings, changing roles at the drop of a hat.

We were following (or trying to, there were so many facts flung at you that it was hard to keep up at times!) the story of young meteorologist Hayley (Mikron newcomer Hannah Bainbridge) whose character we gradually warmed to, as she initially struggled to cope in her role of weather girl.

Veteran Mikron actor James McLean nearly stole the show as the irritating TV channel producer boss Nigel.

We all need a little help from our friends, and Thomas Cotran melted hearts in his role of the station’s whipping boy Zeph, with Hayley eventually discovering that this modest, earnest, and most capable young lad from Liverpool was a breath of fresh air.

What a talented ensemble this cast were; from “Invest In a Vest!“, beautifully choreographed station adverts, hilarious hot air balloon and Race scenes, and lively musical numbers (composed by Sonum Batra and directed and arranged by Rebekah Hughes) this was a wonderfully fast paced piece directed by awesome artistic director Marianne McNamara.

A play that made us more aware of looking after our planet, as well as appreciating the beauty of the skies; whatever your circumstances, whether rich or poor.

Nobody Owns The Skies got the message across brilliantly, through thoughtful lyrics and a toe tapping tune. Mikron never preach, and just like Zeph (short for Zephyr) are like a breath of fresh air to audiences.

Look out for Mikron’s other production Raising Agents, 100 years of the WI by Maeve Larkin, featuring music by O’Hooley and Tidow (composers of the Gentleman Jack theme tune) coming to Clements Hall York on Sunday, September 18 at 4pm.