Kat Francois is a performance poet, playwright, director, actor, comedian, workshop facilitator, and personal trainer. She was the first person to win a televised poetry slam in the UK, on BBC3 in 2004, and a year later went on to win the World Slam Poetry Championships in Rotterdam. She has performed globally, including Germany, Norway, Sweden, Rome, Ireland, Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Australia, USA, Canada, Trinidad and South Africa.
A well-known performance poet on the London poetry scene, Kat has been hosting a monthly poetry and music event, Word4Word, for 13 years at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Kat creates a positive and welcoming space for poets and musicians to share their work attracting both new and established artists, all interspersed with her comedic hosting.
As a playwright, Kat has written and performed two solo plays, SEVEN TIMES ME, RAISING LAZARUS, and two comedy shows, KAT’S GOT YOUR TONGUE and THE KAT FRANCOIS COMEDY SHOW, which received a 5 star review at the Camden Fringe Festival.
She has worked with young people for many years, as a youth worker, PHSE Facilitator, also teaching dance, drama, poetry and performance skills.
Kat is an established director of youth theatre, devising plays for theatres including Theatre Royal Stratford East, Roundhouse Camden, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, as well as performances at Arcola Theatre, and Camp Bestival.
Kat also works with young poets at Theatre Royal Stratford East, every Monday evening, where they work on their performance and writing skills and put on regular performances.
Kat has performed numerous times on radio and television including BLUE PETER and the BIG POETRY SLAM. Kat was also interviewed live on BBC breakfast television to mark the passing of Maya Angelou where she performed the famous poem, “STILL I RISE.” Kat featured on SKY 1 in 2016 on “WHAT’S UP,” and has previously appeared on SKY ARTS, and was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 FRONT ROW to write and perform a poem, on the 100 Year commemoration of the Battle of the Somme. She closed 2016 as a guest on BBC Radio 4's SATURDAY LIVE
Kat has released a spoken word CD entitled BLESSED BY WORDS and is published in a number of poetry magazines and anthologies. Her first written collection of poetry, RHYME AND REASON, was published in February 2008 and is now in its third edition. She is currently working on her second collection.
At present she continues performances of her solo play Raising Lazarus, which explores the experiences of Caribbean soldiers during the First World War. Raising Lazarus has been shown at Camden Roundhouse, Nottingham Play House, Rich Mix London, Decibel Manchester, The Hawth Crawley, Theatre Royal Stratford East, London and the Camden Fringe Festival. Raising Lazarus has also been performed in Canada, Australia and South Africa, and will continue to tour internationally.
Kat was invited to perform her play RAISING LAZARUS, as part of the Night Before The Somme commemorative event at the Imperial War Museum, London.
The play received a 4 Star review from The Stage at Brighton Festival 2017
In 2015 Kat was invited as the only non-African spoken word artist to perform at POETRY AFRICA in Durban.
Spring 2017 saw Kat invited to Anne Frank House, Amsterdam to run workshops for international students and teachers on themes of identity and discrimination through the medium of spoken word.