On the stairs of our old house, in Fulham!
After travelling all over London, I am back in West again.
WAC, otherwise known as Weekend Arts College.
BBC 3 Slam Champion and World Slam Poetry Champion
Describe Kat Francois in 5 words:
What was your fave cartoon as a child?
Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats!
What came first, the chicken or the egg?
The egg for me, as I eat eggs but not chickens.
Favourite day of the week?
Saturday, because it’s the day I can lie in.
ONiT! is really excited about your upcoming show Kat's Got Your Tongue at the Theatre Royal on the 10th and 11th of July. What can the audience expect to see/hear/or even smell at the show?
Hopefully they won’t smell my sweat as I run around the stage. They will see more of Grenadian Granny, one of my characters who has a new TV show, and they will see the new characters I have created. They will experience my straight stand up - just me, Kat, chatting, doing my thing. The show is a high energy experience, fu
ll of fun and laughter, so audience members who are asthmatic should bring their inhalers, and ladies who have weak muscles downstairs, should wear their Tenna’s!
Haha – duly noted! You’ve got such a wide scope of talents under your belt, from poetry to hosting to stand up comedy to playwright AND educator! Which out of these talents do you enjoy utilising the most?
I love everything I do and feel blessed that I have the opportunity to express them all. At the moment comedy is the most exciting, because it’s new,
fresh and challenging and takes me out of my normal circles and my comfort zone. As a performer I always like to be pushed and comedy does that for me.
We know you've recently finished touring the nation as part of Spoken Word All Stars (a spoken word theatre show produced by Apples & Snakes). How was it and will you be taking anything from that experience to put into your new show?
The show was amazing as it enabled me to work closely with some great artist's over a long period of time, and this is not something that happens often. El Crisis, Oneness (both poets), and Jason Yard (Musician), were part of the core group and I loved working with them all. Being able to support the other poets with backing vocals, and entwine poems was exciting, and since no one’s ears bled when I sang, I shall be taking that skill into Kat's Got Your Tongue.
Who or what inspires Ms Francois?
Life. The ups, the downs, the in-betweens, the sad bits, the happy bits, the messed up bits. I am also inspired by some everyday people around me, who every day remind that life is to be lived to the fullest and never squandered.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals that you do before a show?
Yes I lock myself in a toilet and release my bowls, whilst clutching my belly as it cramps! Yep I get
real nervous and my stomach reacts by playing up, luckily this is a solo show so there is no one to offend and I can, doo-doo to my heart’s content.
Oh jeeze, erm, thanks for that visual! [Laughs] ahem, moving on... Who are your greatest influences?
The strong women in my life who have raised me, or had a hand in raising me. Comedy wise, Richard Pryor, to me, he is unique in his ability to turn the appalling into the hilarious. Poetry wise, it has to be Maya Angelou and her poem 'Still I Rise', which is my life anthem. I also loved Louise Bennett, a Jamaican personality who was a poet, singer and a TV presenter; she was a real character and a real inspiration.
Is there an artist or performance that you’ve recently seen that blew you away?
David J who is the most sublime performance poet ever. He performed at the Leaders of the Old Skool show on Sunday 3rd July, which I had the pleasure of hosting. He is a phenomenal performer - I can’t even think like him, let alone write like him. He is the kind of performer who makes you think, “Maybe it’s time to put down the pen and retire..!"
Don’t even say those words out loud! Next question, if you were stranded in the harsh wilderness (sorry - no lush desert island round here), what three items would you want to have with you and why?
A book, I will need something to read or I’ll just die. Vaseline for dry lips and dry legs - I’d just die if my lips or leg’s were dry, and a charged phone so I could call someone to come and get me.
Hahaha you’re actually killing me! What’s been your best & worst performance experience so far?
Early on when I started poetry, I took part in a slam and crashed and burned - forgetting all my words, embarrassing! Best experience, winning the BBC 3 Slam.
Finish the sentence: In 5 years time I hope to be.....
Big not physically, although if I continue to yam the way I do that could be a possibility... I want big shows, the 02, Wembley, I want the T.V programme, the DVD, the live shows all over the world. That’s it I want to take over the WORLD, I can see it now 'KAT GOES GLOBAL WITH THE MIAOW TOUR.'
“MIAOW?!” *wipes laughter tears away* If you were a fruit what fruit would you be and why?
I would be a banana. It’s such a yellow, happy and vibrant fruit and I love them.
When are you next on the
You can see my full length comedy show, Kat's Got Your Tongue, on Sunday 10th and Monday 11th July on the main stage at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. For tickets use this link: http://tinyurl.com/5uvybbj or alternatively, contact the box office on: 020 8534 0310 | Tickets: £12 /£10 Concessions. Don't miss it!
Outside of the stage, where can we find you?
Words by: Shorntay Allen
Photography by: Sloetry (c) 2010