Project Description

STORIES TO TELL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT

Stories to Tell In The Middle Of The Night is an original piece of theatre written and performed by Francesca Millican-Slater. The project was commissioned in 2016 by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and produced by Pippa Frith with support from Arts Council England and China Plate.

“I’ll take you through the night. Its highs, its lows. Those frustrations. Turn on the light. Look at the time. Lets populate the long dark hours and the small light hours with stories, people. I’ll tell you tales that could be me, that could be you. Tales of lack of connection, loss of connection, too much connection. Connecting…”

A live late night radio show for those that can’t sleep, aren’t asleep. Instead of records, this DJ is spinning stories that exist between dusk and morning. Small stories, odd, true, funny and familiar, reflecting the night hours themselves.

I designed the sound for this piece which follows the format of a radio show where a series of short stories are ‘played’, punctuated with commentary and introductions by the “DJ”. The sound design consists of the DJ’s signature music, presented as a series of variations throughout the piece, and incidental sounds and atmospheres to support the stories, reflecting their mood and content. The work traces the arc of the night from dusk until dawn and references different designated ‘twilights’; nautical, astronomical, civil. It also explores our relationships with technology in the analogue and digital realms. The sound design draws on these ideas with the use of waves (sea and radio), analogue noise from vinyl and the kind of sounds used to aid sleep; fans, rain, white noise, air conditioners, drones etc.

Following a successful run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2016, Stories To Tell In The Middle Of The Night was performed at The Door, Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 9th-18th February 2017 and toured various West Midlands venues until March 2017.

STORIES TO TELL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT

Stories to Tell In The Middle Of The Night is an original piece of theatre written and performed by Francesca Millican-Slater. The project was commissioned in 2016 by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and produced by Pippa Frith with support from Arts Council England and China Plate.

“I’ll take you through the night. Its highs, its lows. Those frustrations. Turn on the light. Look at the time. Lets populate the long dark hours and the small light hours with stories, people. I’ll tell you tales that could be me, that could be you. Tales of lack of connection, loss of connection, too much connection. Connecting…”

A live late night radio show for those that can’t sleep, aren’t asleep. Instead of records, this DJ is spinning stories that exist between dusk and morning. Small stories, odd, true, funny and familiar, reflecting the night hours themselves.

I designed the sound for this piece which follows the format of a radio show where a series of short stories are ‘played’, punctuated with commentary and introductions by the “DJ”. The sound design consists of the DJ’s signature music, presented as a series of variations throughout the piece, and incidental sounds and atmospheres to support the stories, reflecting their mood and content. The work traces the arc of the night from dusk until dawn and references different designated ‘twilights’; nautical, astronomical, civil. It also explores our relationships with technology in the analogue and digital realms. The sound design draws on these ideas with the use of waves (sea and radio), analogue noise from vinyl and the kind of sounds used to aid sleep; fans, rain, white noise, air conditioners, drones etc.

Following a successful run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2016, Stories To Tell In The Middle Of The Night was performed at The Door, Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 9th-18th February 2017 and toured various West Midlands venues until March 2017.

Writer & Performer: Francesca Millican-Slater 

Set Design: Claire Brown

Sound Design: Iain Armstrong

Lighting Consultant: Ben Pacey

Process Director: Lekan Lawal

Producer: Pippa Frith

Photography: Graeme Braidwood

“A series of atmospheric small stories expertly delivered.”

* * * *

Natasha Tripney, The Stage

“A beautiful hour of weird and wonderful storytelling”

* * * *

Ellen Orange, Arts Award Voice

“These seemingly unrelated tales amount to a sprawling exploration of sleeplessness and the various anxieties that can fall upon us during bouts of insomnia. Millican-Slater ably captures the contemplative solitude of the early hours.”

* * * *

Lewis Porteous, Festmag

“It’s an imaginative twist on dark bedtime stories, making them about anxiety, insomnia and loneliness which is ably supported by lighting and sound designers, Ben Pacey and Iain Armstrong.”

* * *

Liam Heraghty, Broadway Baby

“Through tales that are touching, funny, troubling or ridiculous, she holds up a mirror to the unspoken fears, frustrations and desires that haunt us in the middle of the night, playing with the magic of theatrical convention to create an atmosphere at once soporific and enthralling.”

* * * *

Heather Kincaid, What's On Birmingham

“Vignettes of vulnerability and vice, these lives less ordinary occupy a behavioral spectrum of extremes ranging from intimate eccentricity to the inchoate rage of unrequited narcissism. All equally compelling and convincing.”

* * * *

John Kennedy, The Reviews Hub

There is warmth, intimacy and familiarity to Francesca’s story telling that draws you in as if the story is just for you. The sound track works with Francesca becoming a part of the stories, at times another voice, and also as a backing track.”

* * * *

Helen Annetts, Behind The Arras

Writer & Performer: Francesca Millican-Slater 

Set Design: Claire Brown

Sound Design: Iain Armstrong

Lighting Consultant: Ben Pacey

Process Director: Lekan Lawal

Producer: Pippa Frith

Photography: Graeme Braidwood

“A series of atmospheric small stories expertly delivered.”

* * * *

Natasha Tripney, The Stage

“A beautiful hour of weird and wonderful storytelling”

* * * *

Ellen Orange, Arts Award Voice

“These seemingly unrelated tales amount to a sprawling exploration of sleeplessness and the various anxieties that can fall upon us during bouts of insomnia. Millican-Slater ably captures the contemplative solitude of the early hours.”

* * * *

Lewis Porteous, Festmag

“It’s an imaginative twist on dark bedtime stories, making them about anxiety, insomnia and loneliness which is ably supported by lighting and sound designers, Ben Pacey and Iain Armstrong.”

* * *

Liam Heraghty, Broadway Baby

“Through tales that are touching, funny, troubling or ridiculous, she holds up a mirror to the unspoken fears, frustrations and desires that haunt us in the middle of the night, playing with the magic of theatrical convention to create an atmosphere at once soporific and enthralling.”

* * * *

Heather Kincaid, What's On Birmingham

“Vignettes of vulnerability and vice, these lives less ordinary occupy a behavioral spectrum of extremes ranging from intimate eccentricity to the inchoate rage of unrequited narcissism. All equally compelling and convincing.”

* * * *

John Kennedy, The Reviews Hub

There is warmth, intimacy and familiarity to Francesca’s story telling that draws you in as if the story is just for you. The sound track works with Francesca becoming a part of the stories, at times another voice, and also as a backing track.”

* * * *

Helen Annetts, Behind The Arras