Everyone knows there’s a bit of a cloud over our postal services – but there’s no need to make a drama out of it, is there?
Well, funny you should say that, because the business of getting letters from door to door is the subject of the latest production by canal-borne theatre company Mikron, and they’re heading our way.
Their 2013 production Don’t Shoot the Messenger will be performed at The Rising Sun in Berkhamsted on Monday and then at Ye Old Red Lion, Nash Mills, on Thursday as the crew make their way along the Grand Union Canal.
The show has been created to offer audiences a comical journey through the life – and threatened death – of a postal service.
Writer Maeve Larkin says it’s a celebration of what a postal service means to all of us, as well as a love letter to an institution which some might say is on the brink of extinction.
There’s drama as an unsuspecting gunman gets more than he bargains for when he holds up a sleepy village post office. The tables are turned on him and the postmistress seizes the opportunity to open his eyes.
From the Ancient Greeks to the age of Shakespeare, from the Victorian era to the digital age, written messages have been the cornerstone of civilised society – and Mikron wants to cram thousands of years of evolution into one evening’s enlightening entertainment.
Told by a company of four, but featuring a cast of dozens, the show features original songs and live music along the way.
Mikron is the only company in the world to tour professional theatre by narrowboat, travelling via canals and rivers to take performances to places that don’t often see theatre – pubs, village greens, canal basins, fields, allotments and, with this show, post office clubs.
Artistic director Marianne McNamara, who is also the director of Don’t Shoot the Messenger, says: “It’s a pacey production with some toe-tapping tunes. We’re thrilled to have all four cast members back this year, they’re a talented bunch and working with them a second time round is a joy.”
There is no need to buy a ticket for either show, which both start at 7.30pm, as a collection will be taken after the performance.