Mikron Theatre are aiming to score with their next theatrical offering for their 49th year of touring. They will be premiering Amanda Whittington’s new play Atalanta Forever which looks at the story of the pioneering women in football in 1920.
Atalanta Forever will kick off at The Piece Hall in Halifax on Wednesday 9th June and then tour nationally by road and river until 19 September.
It is 1920, and in post-war Britain, women’s football is big news. Across the country, all-girl teams are pulling huge crowds in fund-raising games for wounded soldiers. Huddersfield amateurs Ethel and Annie take a shot at the big time. Teammates at Atalanta AFC, they are soon tackling new football skills, mastering the offside rule, and kicking back at the doubters.
Come and cheer for Atalanta as our plucky underdogs learn how to play the game, take on the legendary teams of the era – and find the toughest opponent of all is the FA.
The play is based on the true story of one of three women’s football teams in Huddersfield in post war Britain. Told through the lives of two young women Atalanta Ladies Football Club was formed in 1920 ‘to provide games for the women of Huddersfield, to foster a sporting spirit, and a love of honour among its members.’ During the Great War, several women’s football teams had sprung up around the country, usually based in factories or munitions works, and proved a great success in raising money for hospitals, war widows and so on.
2021 is the 100th anniversary of the Football Association banning women from playing on Football League grounds which was lifted 50 years later. It will also be the 50th anniversary of the first Women’s first FA Cup final.
Atalanta Forever is directed by Mikron Theatre’s Artistic Director Marianne McNamara, designed by Celia Perkins, music composed and lyrics by Kieran Buckeridge with the music directed by Rebekah Hughes. The cast will feature Rachel Benson (Redcoats, Mikron Theatre), Thomas Cotran (Loserville, Union Theatre), James McLean (Much Ado About Nothing, Northern Broadsides) and Elizabeth Robin (The Little Mermaid, Everyman Theatre, Liverpool).
Playwright Amanda Whittington said about her new play: “I was an 11-year-old footballer in the 1980s, the only girl who played in the boy’s village tournament and I vividly remember being ‘advised’ to stop because it wasn’t appropriate. I still feel the injustice, and the sense of shame for wanting to do something I was not meant to. It brings joy to my heart to see football is now the biggest team sport for girls in Britain. I wanted to write about the battle the women’s game has fought to survive and prosper – and perhaps to tell the 11-year-old me she was right?”
Atalanta Forever will be touring nationally in the Summer alongside Poppy Hollman’s new play A Dog’s Tale which celebrate canines past and present and explores the enduring love between people and their dogs.
For tour dates and information on Atalanta Forever visit http://mikron.org.uk