In 2015 The New Vic, Stoke on Trent, ran a festival of plays based around The Staffordshire Hoard, the largest hoard of Anglo Saxon Gold found in this country. The Hoard Festival was named as one of the Guardian top ten theatre tips of 2015, and I was delighted to be part of it as one of two new commissioned studio pieces, alongside Caroline Horton.
Back in 2014 Theresa Heskins, artistic director of the New Vic gave me a provocation to make something for The Hoard festival. Reading the series of articles and ideas Theresa had put tother around The Staffordshire Hoard, what caught my eye, started me thinking was the shiny stuff. Gold, what it meant to us then, what it has always meant to us, and what it means to us now. Through research and development with the New Vic, under the watchful of eye of my producer Pippa Frith and associate director of The Hoard Festival Gemma Fairle, I made a show about Gold (called…Gold) that ran for 10 dates at The New Vic. A power point presentation with opportunity to hold the gold and hear stories ancient and modern, it got audiences drinking gold drinks, joining in, and not being able to get a certain song out of their head.
‘Written with an obsessive eye on the ore which provokes unrivalled obsession, Francesca Millican-Slater performs her piece with gold-plated panache. She sells us a line – or rather, gets us to choose our own – and then with enormous energy and enthusiasm for the process, elaborates, questions, and challenges our thinking’
John Hargreaves for the Market Drayton Advertiser & The Shropshire Star’s Native Monster
Gold is coming as a double bill with Caroline Horton’s Tranklements to Birmingham on the 23rd & 24th of April, 2pm see both shows and The Hoard itself at Birmingham Museum for £15 booking here.
Gold still holds a special power over us. But what has changed in the way we view this
precious metal since five kilos were buried in a Staffordshire field over 1,000 years ago?
From the Hoard to gold-plated mobile phones and pawn shops, a sideways look at the metal that cannot be destroyed. A one woman show using story-telling, PowerPoint, lyricism and possibly some classic gold tracks.
This promises to be entertaining, thought-provoking, and quite shiny, gold shiny.