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Me, Myself and Miss Gibbs
Published on Monday, 22 August 2011

3 stars

Hill Street Theatre (venue website)
19-29 Aug, 12:15pm-1:15pm
Reviewed by Alice de Cent

 Parental Guidance. Parents or guardians should consider the content of this show if children are attending.

When Francesca Millican-Slater found a postcard from 1910 addressed to a Miss L Gibbs, the message simply reading “Be careful tomorrow. A.C.”, she set out to discover just who Miss Gibbs was… and just why she had to apply such caution.

A gentle piece of storytelling, Me, Myself and Miss Gibbs documents Millican-Slater’s quest, recreating her investigation using video excerpts, props, and the many historical records collected on this very personal journey. The set is a visual representation of the search for Miss Gibbs; out of it, various objects are produced as they enter the story, creating a delightful stage picture.

A confident and likeable performer, Millican-Slater immediately engaged the audience, and there was a real sense that she was sharing part of herself. At times this stole the focus from Miss Gibbs’ tale a little too much, and the arc of the story could perhaps be tightened up to readdress this.

The lecture-style OHP of historical documents flowed into performance sections, recreating the conversations Millican-Slater had along the way, which kept the piece alive. There is space, however, for clearer delineation between such approaches as at times there was a little uncertainty as to the intention of the show.

The postcard that started it all is a fascinating object, and it is easy to get drawn into the world of Miss Gibbs. The piece has great potential, and will no doubt evolve as Millican-Slater’s ongoing research turns up new discoveries. 

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