A late night radio show for people who can't sleep, Stories to Tell in the Middle of the Night is a weird and wonderful compendium of short spoken tales, ranging from the funny, to the strange, to the creepy.
Despite what you might assume, these aren't horror stories, but weird and wonderful tales about the human experience, from relationships in supermarkets to Pork Pie Factories, inheritances to morning walks.
These are creative tales about human experience, all told by a single host, Francesca Millican-Slater, with the help of some over speaker recordings, clever lighting and three desks as minor props. The effect was told first and foremost through the the wonderful oratory of the host, as she dramatised and articulated the stories with a simultaneous softness and energy which kept the audience on the edge of our seats.
Reminiscent of Roald Dahl's adult short stories, the tales were beautifully written with a captivating dexterity of language that verged on the poetic. Her power to evoke the scenes of her stories, whether familiar or not, was utterly brilliant, as was her ability to both familisarise and dissociate us from the characters whose stories she was relating. Those looking for unity or satisfaction would be sorely disappointed, as the stories were just snippets and snapshots of human experiences, brilliantly playing on and satirising aspects of modern society, as well as delving deep into different aspects of the human psyche.
This are the kinds of characters and the types of stories that you could only imagine in the middle of the night. Millican-Slater beautifully relays this strange and odd, but utterly engaging set of stories in a charming performance; be sure to catch it if you are at Edinburgh Fringe!
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Stories to Tell in the Middle of the Night is showing at Summerhall at 10.15am, 12-28 Aug (excl 15 and 22). More details and tickets can be found on the Fringe website.