Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Francesca Millican Slater's 'Me, myself & Miss Gibbs' at Fareham Library

In 2003, Francesca bought a second hand postcard for 50p. The postcard, sent from Lincoln to London was addressed to a Miss L Gibbs of 62 Douglas Buildings, Marshalsea Road, Borough. Sent on July 15th 1910, the message on the back reads:

‘Be Careful Tomorrow. A.C.’

Part detective noir, part lecture, part personal biography, Francesca investigates the message on a postcard sent 100 years ago and finds herself obsessed by the life of the woman that received it. What happens when she starts tracing a history that isn’t her own? And why did Miss Gibbs have to be careful tomorrow?

In Me, Myself and Miss Gibbs Francesca takes the audience with her on this intricate, amusing and fascinating journey, gently questioning how we remember those that went before us and how we might like to be remembered ourselves.

I bought a ticket for this on the spur of the moment, and then almost lost track of what day it was on. I am so glad not to have missed the performance. When I bought my ticket, I expected a talk, with maybe a few powerpoint slides. What I got was something far more exciting.

Francesca's original idea was to buy some old postcards and travel between the places they were sent from and too as an art project. Then she found the postcard addressed to Miss Gibbs and the project became much, much bigger.

The performance took place in the library's meeting room, and the first think that struck me was all the stuff that was piled on and around the table at the front: audio cassettes, train tickets, scraps of paper, newspaper cuttings, you name it.

Francesca told us the story of buying the postcard, her journey, the people she met, and all the details of Miss Gibbs' life that she slowly uncovered. We watched video clips of Francesca in 2003 talking about her project, listened as Francesca replayed conversations she had had along the way, looked at overhead projector slides of polaroid photos taken along the way, and examined certificates of births, marriages and deaths.

The project is still ongoing as Francesca uncovers more details about Miss Gibbs and her family.

Go see Francesca and get to know Miss Gibbs for yourself.
Tags: out and about, real life, reviews, truth stranger than fiction, winning at life
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