What we love most about Milton Keynes #LoveMK

29th April 2024

#LoveMK Day is an annual day organised by Destination MK, the official tourism organisation for Milton Keynes, that celebrates all the amazing activities, events, and places that we love most about our city.

2024 marks its twelfth year and the online day of celebration is Thursday 2nd May.

This is a fantastic platform to get Milton Keynes on the map and support and recognise all the small, independent businesses and the important sectors that might otherwise be overlooked. 

Each year The Play’s The Thing takes part in #LoveMK Day. We celebrate arts, theatre and culture within our city because this is what we love most about Milton Keynes.   

We create theatre because we are true advocates of the arts with a deep passion and pride for our industry. For arts bring joy, education, inspiration, motivation and a meaning to our lives. We provide opportunities for everyone and strive to tell a range of different stories our audiences want to hear to make them feel heard and connected.  

With funding cuts to the arts for local authorities, less available and easily accessible funding through local project grants, and the planned cuts to higher education from next year, it’s vital we continue to raise awareness of what we do to our local audiences.

Lack of investment and support has left us and many theatre companies in Milton Keynes somewhat neglected. Our city has some of the best theatres, theatre companies, and emerging artists and it’s important we shine a light on this. 

As a small, independent theatre company formed 15 years ago and with limited funding, we have focused on bringing great theatre to the Milton Keynes community. We have had to overcome many challenges along the way, but we have continued to work hard to ensure our great city has inspiring theatre, our local talent is seen and the next generation of theatre makers receive the support they need.

We couldn’t have done all this without the support of some fantastic local authorities, education and businesses, including The Fawcett Society, Milton Keynes Libraries, The Alzheimer's Society, The Living Archive, Stantonbury Theatre, Royal and Derngate Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, MK Theatre, MK Gallery, and most recently, the MK Dons for our community theatre company’s current production of Not A Game For Girls’ at Stantonbury Theatre from 16th - 19th May

With this support, we have been able to fulfil projects covering a range of subjects, including dementia, mental health, transgender, austerity, care work, Windrush, miscarriages of justice, and women’s football history. Theatre is at its best when diverse. We are diverse and inclusive.

We are very lucky to have built positive local relationships and fostered collaboration to form an alliance if you like, that helps us strengthen the fight for improved funding, government support and an infrastructure that helps art and theatre flourish.

We have mentioned before that we need to build a cultural infrastructure that will inspire more theatre and culture to our city. Pathways need to be opened, barriers removed and the decision makers need to realise that our industry has many benefits to not only individuals but to our economy. Did you know that the creative sector is worth £126bn to the economy each year, which is more than automotive, aerospace, oil and gas and life sciences put together? 

We will continue to celebrate, support and shout about not only all the wonderful theatre projects, festivals, workshops, and more that we have created and been part of, but also those of local theatre companies, playwrights, and of course the next generation of theatre makers. 

The more support and funding we receive for producing thought-provoking arts and theatre within Milton Keynes the better chance we have of having a flourishing local theatre network with supported creativity and fresh opportunities. 

There is still a lot of work to do and this is what we will be shouting about on Thursday 2nd May. We hope you will join in the conversation.