After touring as far afield as Lancashire and Norfolk, Francesca Millican Slater makes a welcome return to Shropshire. My Dearest Girls: The Letters Book combines character, live music and a touch of cabaret to reveal the lives of a group of friends from Shropshire. Against a background of war the women tell each other their stories, there is gossip and hint of scandal, reprimands, fiancés on the frontline and how to feed 100 chickens while on rations.

Francesca loves to weave real archive material into live theatre and found the inspiration for the production amongst the documents at Shropshire Archives. She describes how the project developed on her blog http://www.francescamillicanslater.co.uk/a-week-or-there-abouts-in-shrewsbury-and-beyond/ “Small obsession begins to grow with these women, that moment, that feeling in the pit of my stomach, an anxiety to know how their lives continue outside of their letters.”

Audiences can experience these women’s lives through Francesca’s warm and witty story-telling. My Dearest Girls: The Letters Book, in partnership with Arts Alive, will be performed at the Church Stretton Arts Festival on 5th August. See the website for details http://www.strettonfestival.org.uk/my-dearest-girls/