My Dearest Girls
Working with long-term collaborator Francesca Millican-Slater, My Dearest Girls was commissioned by Shropshire Archives, developed in partnership with Arts Alive, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by Pentabus Theatre.
My Dearest Girls is a duo of performances commissioned specifically for rural touring networks to mark the centenary of WW1
My Dearest Girls: The Letters Book is a duo of performances written and performed by Francesca Millican-Slater based on original source material.
Using a letters book found and stored in Shropshire Archives Francesca has created two performances that tell the stories of women living and working during World War I.
Written between 1917-1920 the letters book contains the letters of six young women connected by schooling together in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. Against the background of War they keep in contact through round robin letters addressed to all, sent bundle by bundle, each woman adding her reply to the last and sending them on.
While two of the girls remain in Shropshire, the others have moved to London, Birmingham, Bury St Edmonds and Kent, offering different views and perspectives of the war years in town, city and country.
My Dearest Girls: Helen’s Story is a short 30 minute performance designed to work in the context of wider events such as festivals, history days, village fetes and more.
My Dearest Girls: The Letters Book is a full length show with interval and live music, perfect for rural touring venues, small scale studio theatres and arts centres.
Both versions of the show have toured extensively from 2014 - 2018, marking the 4 year centenary of WW1. The work has been designed specifically for rural touring venues, but has also toured to some arts centres and theatres. Highlights include:
Fordhall Summer Festival | The National Rural Touring Conference| Attingham Country Park | The Festival at the Edge | Bishop's Castle Town Hall | Shrewsbury Folk Festival | Pentabus | Shropshire Archives | Spot On, Lancashire | Habberley Villiage Hall | Trefonnon Villiage Hall | Wem Town Hall | mac birmingham | Ludlow Assembly Rooms | Church Stretton Festival | Bridgnorth Library | Art S'oak Festival | Herefordshire Archives
2018 dates currently planned:
Bridgnorth School, 11th November
Salisbury Playhouse, 22nd - 24th November
Both pieces are available for booking until the end of 2018. Download the tour booking information here
images © Graeme Braidwood