Theatre: ‘Stories to tell in the middle of the night’

Thursday, 30th March 2017

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Francesca Millican Slater (Credit Graeme Braidwood)
Francesca Millican Slater (Credit Graeme Braidwood)

Cafe Ort, 10th March

I first came across Francesca Millican-Slater in 2014 when she charmed and impressed audiences with her solo show ‘Forensics of a Flat.  Millican-Slater tells funny, bittersweet stories which show the ordinary to be extraordinary. Her latest work, ‘Stories To Tell In The Middle Of The Night’ is staged as a late night radio show for those that can’t sleep, but instead of songs, DJ Francesca weaves tales about hope, disappointment, love and loss found in call centres, home makeovers and supermarket shopping.

She is a gifted story teller who created real intimacy by wandering around the audience to ask everyone how they slept. The conversations and confessions were wonderful. Unfortunately, the very basic props and austere surroundings of the Printworks robbed us of the late night studio ambience. By the end of the evening I felt like my lungs needed help to deal with the sub-zero temperature and industrial dust.

Francesca uses her voice and sense of rhythm to great effect. I would have liked sharper twists and turns taken by colourful characters, but perhaps my brain has been warped by ‘Inside Number Nine’.