I work as a director, facilitator and consultant for performing groups and shows and film; I have devised a way of working that validates both the performer and audience, creating performances that are both personal and archetypal, providing a platform for personal, social or political transformation.
Franki has spent her life developing a way of working which can liberate and cultivate natural creativity in every human being. She has been researching the Fool over over 20 years. Through this work she has transformed and promoted a deeper understanding of the archetype, and developed a contemporary theatre art form based on improvisation,
Franki originally trained at the Laban Art of Movement Studio, under Lisa Ullman. This was the first step in her adult life journey; to explore the synthesis of the gymnastic and dance training’s of her childhood with a theatre that does not rely on scripts. To reconnect with what there might have been, before it was written down, before Shakespeare, before actors could read and improvisation wasn’t a word because there was no opposite.
Along her way she has explored Commedia dell’Arte, Circus skills, Mime, Clown, Acrobatics, Storytelling, Improvisation, The theatre of Augusto Boal, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Movement, Tai Chi, Reiki, and Movement-Therapy.
She has toured extensively with her own solo shows and with companies working in a wide variety of theatre forms from street to film. She was at the forefront of the street theatre movement in the 70’s and 80’s. Using mime and physical theatre to communicate with audiences, overcoming the limitations of language. Franki has been described as secretly famous. She has eschewed the normal career trajectory to follow ‘the fools path’.
In 1986 Franki co-founded Fooltime, Britain’s first centre for Circus Skills and Performing Arts, and subsequently created ‘the empty space’ theatre research studio in 1995 and co-founded ‘Act of Life’ productions in 1998 to facilitate and manage fools’ projects, workshops and shows. Her work as a theatre director and consultant includes her role as artistic director of ‘The Troubadours’ a performing group of fools.
a base for the work
Now Franki occasionally performs her solo shows and leads workshops internationally. However she is currently creating a new base for the work in collaboration with Ray Bowler, Artist, Sculptor, Eco. Builder, in Cornwall. They are enquiring into the idea of placing theatre at the heart of community, where social, political, celebration and therapeutic needs are facilitated and met by theatre and theatre players. In order to facilitate this concept she is running regular sessions in Dance, movement and Play Days in Cornwall, she is keen to prioritise the work in the South West in order to build up a group of people able to work and play spontaneously together.
She is also working on documenting the work so far, on DVD as well as exploring the use of film as a medium for fools.
FRANKI’S creative development has been inspired by: Her Children; Jamie and Isabella, Rudolf Laban, Lisa Ullman, Buster Keaton, John Melville, Desmond Jones, Barry and Joan Grantham, Toby Philpott, Jacques Lecoq, Keith Johnstone, Guy Dartnell, Monika Pagneux, and many more wonderful people especially all the students and performers she has had the joy of working with.