“Hives…Honey…Homicide,” teases the tagline for a show described as “CSI meets Camberwick Green in a tale of sleuths and bees, a crime thriller with a buzz.” Intrigued? It gets even more very Britishly eccentric all round.
Beyond the Veil is the 42nd touring show from Mikron Theatre Company – who get about up and down the country by narrowboat, too, but more on that later.
“A lively show full of music, fun and facts about bees and beekeeping”, the play gets underway when a body is discovered on Thistledale Allotments and foul play is suspected. Detective Starkey has plenty of suspects but just can’t find a motive. The allotmenteers give him beekeeper April’s advice – “talk to the bees” – but will understanding the bees and their ways really lead him the clues he needs?
Mikron Theatre company are unique, the only company in the world to tour professional theatre by narrowboat, bringing performances to places that don’t often see theatre; pubs, village greens, canal basins, and this year, to allotments and apiaries. But when they get to Liverpool, the relatively normal surrounds of the Actors Studio on Seel Street will be their hosts.
Marianne McNamara, Mikron’s artistic director, says: “Deborah McAndrew wrote our 2012 show Losing the Plot and set the show on Thistledale Allotments. She wrote such a fabulous script with such colourful characters and one of them, April, is a bee keeper. We got a glimpse into the art of beekeeping and I just wanted to develop that, I wanted to know more! Deborah is a beekeeper herself, so it seemed like a natural choice. Of course, bees are in the news at the moment, as they risk becoming an endangered species, so I am hoping that the show will fire some people’s enthusiasm and help people to understand what vital little creatures they are!”
Huddersfield-based Mikron has been going since 1963 and their website reveals a very different kind of history for a theatre company, and is worth a read here. Their patrons include Prunella Scales and environmental journo George Monbiot, who probably likes bees too. Catch their show at the Actors Studio on Sunday, October 13.