The Singing Agony Aunt

Francesca Fargion


May 20 and 21

One of Volcano’s new season of specially-commissioned original short performances in the Solo Duets for the Future series. Performed in the The Cupboard at Volcano Theatre.

A disjointed, lively, humorous and poignant half hour, giving insights into other people’s common or not so common troubles, however big or small, petty or profound.

Agony Aunts have been giving out advice for centuries. Writing to an agony aunt pre-Google would have been the only way to receive anonymous advice. The “golden age” is said to begin in the mid-19th century, but the problem page had existed around 250 years prior to this, when John Dunton (printer and bookseller) created a column in order to receive anonymous advise on his extra-marital affair. By the 1740s women had come to the forefront of advice columns, however, and agony aunts often responded to fears about ‘embarrassing’ body parts and sex or relationship issues. One reason for their popularity could be that listening to others’ problems may also provide a sense of relief for ourselves.

Singing and accompanying herself on a portable organ, Francesa will create responses to problems – real and imaginary, provided by the audience or other sources.

Friday 20 May 1pm and 5pm
Saturday 21 May 1pm and 3pm


Francesca Fargion is a composer/performer who is working on  a PhD with Seán Clancy and Howard Skempton at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. She mainly writes for herself to perform, and likes to work with naiveté, humour and female perspectives, in addition to embracing amateurism and home-made aesthetics. She has worked closely with the composer Tim Parkinson and take influence from other British experimental composers such as Laurence Crane and James Saunders. I am also influenced by contemporary dance, performance and theatre practitioners such as Wendy Houston, Eleanor Sikorski, Object Collection and Forced Entertainment.

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