Malaysian-born Francesca Beard is an internationally-acclaimed performance poet who collaborates with diverse people throughout the UK and abroad to share stories about what it is to be human.
Her first solo show, ‘Chinese Whispers’, produced by Apples and Snakes in 2002, was ground-breaking in its approach to performance poetry as a cross-arts form. Her shows are adventurous expeditions into unmapped territories. She is currently developing a new piece, ‘Confabulation’, about the future of memory.
She’s a current Associate Artist with All Change, who lead the field in building long term relationships with communities to make and share outstanding creative work and has been poet in residence at The Barbican, the BBC White City, The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kingston Library, the Natural History Museum and The Metropolitan Police and a guest lecturer in creative writing at the University of Westminster.
She trained as a workshop facilitator with Apples and Snakes through their Poets in Education scheme and has over twenty years’ experience as a creative practitioner in primary and secondary schools as well as libraries, hospitals, prisons and other institutions.
She’s represented contemporary UK literature with the British Council in 23 different countries, from a jazz café in Azerbaijan, to a Bangkok shopping mall, in a Colombian prison to Zimbabwe’s National Library. She’s worked with Femrite, a Ugandan activist women’s literature organisation to create a public performance for the National Theatre in Kampala and with Makaan Arts and Culture, to create the first ever student-led cross arts theatre show in Khartoum.
She’s written short plays for The Royal Court and BBC Radios 3 and 4 and worked with The Young Vic and ICT to create participatory community-led shows. She has held research residencies at Banff, Canada and The Mixed Reality Lab, Nottingham University, to develop story-telling platforms for live and on-line audiences with B3 Media and KCL, supported by Arts Council England.
Her work is often research-informed and inspired by emerging knowledge about ourselves and the universe.