Wick Theatre were so kind to nominate me for the 2021 “Outstanding Contribution to the Arts” for which I was awarded a Commendation. It was so gratifying to hear that the calibre of entries had made it very difficult to choose an overall winner, and that the quality was so high, each of the nominees received a Commendation.
It’s amazing to be recognised, very unexpected, and huge thanks to Wick Theatre for their nomination and to Brighton & Hove Arts Council for the Commendation. But – these things are never in isolation, there were loads of other people that committed time and effort and skills to all the projects I’ve been involved in or led on. I couldn’t have done any of it alone, so massive huge thanks to all of those people: Wick Committee, all the people who contributed films to the Wickanory project and to Ghost Stories for Christmas. Special thanks in equal measure to Phil Nair-Brown, film maker extraordinaire, and to Guy Steddon, horror story officianado and curator of the Ghost Stories.
It’s important to celebrate achievements! Here we are:
October 2021 I was at last back on stage performing. It was truly brilliant to be back especially with a sell out show which made so many people so very happy!
Not only do I love “Cluedo” having grown up playing the game both in English and in Swedish, but I adore the film “Clue” with Tim Curry: in fact, it’s my all time favourite comedy film. I’ve been quoting Madeline Kahn’s lines as Mrs White since I saw the 1985 film. So I was thrilled to get the part of Mrs White – I had to fight for it though! I was the only actor who had a call back! And I’m so grateful to Director Julian Batstone for trusting me with the role. I was also producing the show, but I would still have been Julian’s production manager even if I hadn’t got the role (although I would have been extremely sad and disappointed!) I also had the opportunity to train as lighting tech with a full 96 channel board and learn from the hugely talented Martin Oakley. It was fantastic.
We were also recognised in the Brighton & Hove Arts Council Awards with 5 nominations and 2 wins: Best Actor went deservedly to Guy Steddon for his incredible performance as Wadsworth the Butler, and we (the cast plus 1 stunt double) won Best Stage Crew for the funny and in character way we moved the set around.
I also had to tango with Guy, which I’m sill not sure he’s forgiven me for… I seriously learned steps for it and everything, and practiced at home in front of a very bemused Andy.
Promotional photos and dress rehearsal photos courtesy Miles Davies Photography.
Twilight Theatre was due to be bringing you my latest play in the Brighton Fringe. Cast were in place and in rehearsal. I know it’s absolutely necessary that this has happened but I’m still absolutely gutted!
Still, we will be bringing it to you when the Fringe is rescheduled, so all is not lost. In the meantime, stay safe and keep healthy, be sensible and don’t stock pile, and be kind to one another.
Since last Summer I’ve been involved in all manner of Theatre shenanigans, including winning the Publicity Award from Brighton and Hove Arts Council for the publicity for “Taking Sides”, produced in October by Wick Theatre at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, nr Brighton – which I am seriously proud of.
In January, I directed the wonderfully eerie “The Exorcism” by Don Taylor, from TV’s Dead of Night, also at the Barn Theatre for the Wick. That was an amazing production and the reviews were astonishingly good. My cast were fantastic, the set was incredible, the special effects made the audience jump – and we had real Christmas dinner cooked fresh every night by one of the cast members!
Shoreham Herald Review – click here. There is also a review from NODA – the National Organisation for the Dramatic Arts, on the theatre page as a PDF file.
I’m now busy planning a new production of one of my plays in the Brighton Fringe in May with Twilight Theatre… busy busy…
Hubby Andy wished me good luck being a “God bothering nut job” for my role in Alan Ayckbourn’s “Neighbourhood Watch”, produced by Wick Theatre at the Barn last week. That made me smile. A lot.
It really was great fun rehearsing for this quite bonkers play and John Garland was a fabulous director. Of course that doesn’t mean it was plain sailing, it never is, there are always tense moments towards the end of the rehearsal process but there were some evenings where I was literally crying with laughter. There was even one evening where I had to stop myself laughing on stage. There were pieces in this which were hilarious from the word go and still funny three months later.
I think my character: Hilda Massie, is possibly the most far removed from my own personality that I’ve ever played. It was hugely educational getting under the skin of a type of person I have never understood – those that don’t value honesty, but think it’s rude. They have such a skewed view of the world and themselves that they are seriously deluded, but would vehemently deny this to the end. I’ve previously found this incomprehensible but I had an “aha!” moment during my character preparations and research that really helped me understand. Fascinating. And very sad. There was seriously only one thing we have in common – we both value arnica. And yes, it comes up more than once in the play!
So in short – farewell Hilda, you bonkers manipulative right wing evangelical nut job, I’m re-embracing myself. Acting tab is updated with our brilliant reviews from NODA, Brighton Argus and Shoreham Herald; plus show photos. It’s always so important to receive feedback and so lovely when it’s positive!
I’ve just updated the acting and directing tab with Macbeth, and it reminded me how much I miss working on this play. It was an utter joy from beginning to end. The most expressive, professional, flexible and fun group of actors and a magnificent show that blew the audience away.
Trying to schedule everything in this crazy Fringe bubble is tricky – well actually it’s impossible. I couldn’t see everything I want to see.
Helen and I went to see “Sisterhood”: a 3 hander, one was the fabulous Jules Craig. Set in Tudor times, 3 very different women through a few hours contemplating the same fate that awaits them all, interspersed with true tales of their own modern lives. It affected us so profoundly we had to go and sit and have a cup of tea afterwards. It’s so incredibly sad that in some ways things are very different but in others: attitudes towards women who “go their own way”, attitudes to women as objects – not much has changed. So moving, lump in throat trying to hold on to tears and gulping. One that will haunt me. And I’m glad about that.
Then I navigated the mad mile to get to the Box Office for my ticket for “a joke”. Which was so very far away in a completely different part of town. Didn’t look that far away on the map… so this was a play in the Assembly Rooms Ballroom – and yes it was a ballroom. With chandeliers.
“a joke” was with famous actors, one Robert Picardo who I remember as the cantankerous doctor from Star Trek Voyager and then Star Trek films. Also Sylvester McCoy. So I saw a play with a member of the Star Trek cast and a previous Dr Who – or 2 doctors, actually. It was a brilliant production. And so much so say about life. It was such a multi layered play it reminded me of “Waiting for Godot” in that at first, you leave the theatre and wonder what the hell you’ve just seen and what it was about. Is life a joke, with a punchline, or s story and in that case tragic in places? And many many other questions and musings. “Sing and the music will come” is a mantra that will stay with me. Which is pretty much how I live most of my life.
Then I bumped into Robert Picardo in the foyer and had a picture with him, he was just heading out the door but he waited which was nice. Must be a bug bear to live ‘normal’ life and be famous. But hey! Here we are!
So I was round the corner from “The Ivy” which had been advertised on Facebook so I thought I’d give it a go, especially as it was chucking it down. I only wanted a snack. I thought it was a café. Turns out it’s uber posh, there’s me in my hoodie and backpack. I had some beautiful messages from friends on Facebook when I posted that, made me feel like a million.
Blackened cod. Rosemary lemonade. Then a cranachan (we are in Edinburgh after all) with white chocolate. Which came looking like a little globe, then the waitress poured hot whisky sauce on it and the white chocolate melted, missing with the icecream , raspberries and everything else inside. Oh my god it was so lush. I’ve only seen that presentation on Masterchef, it was so great to experience it.
I walked chuffing miles on Friday – the play was miles over the other side of the city! Nice to get around a little bit!
Antling was brilliant of course. After that we went to Bristo Square (we love it there) and got flyered by a New Zealand woman in a 50’s dress for a comedy show “Ladylike”. But I think that actually happened on Thursday… Antling had a crowd in that laughed on Friday evening which was fabulous. One guy who is also performing at the Fringe talked to Helen after and we went for a drink – or rather he took Helen for a drink and I toddled behind very much like the third wheel. Made me smile. We ended up in a private bar though talking to the owner and the members of the cast and crew (and the son and daughter of the writer) which was really lovely, hobnobbing with professional actors and everything…
Saturday. 2 Michael Morpugo plays. You can take the girl out of – oh who am I kidding. I’m just interested in history, especially in the first and second world wars. So we went to see “An Elephant in the Garden”: a one woman show which was so brilliant. I loved it. Especially her body movements of the elephant – so clever. Then “Private Peaceful”, a one man show which was an incredibly powerful performance, standing ovation at the end. That made everyone gulp and tears were free.
My last Fringe show I went and found the Sweet Venues and bumped into the lovely JD and had a quick catch up. Unfortunately, my last show of the Fringe, something I was reviewing, was the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I had not thought I could ever give a 1 star. I was wrong. It was just the most hideous puerile crap I’ve ever had the misfortune of having to sit through. One person got up and left. I was jealous.
This was in yet another different part of the city and what a beautiful place it is.
The last night of Antling. What a crazy adventure we’ve had. We met Elaine (who taught at ACT) who came to see it and then 4 of us then 3 of us went for a drink at Bristo Square again. We ended up standing bopping to the strangest eclectic mix of music ever.
This morning we went for lovely breakfast – veggie haggis! – at Spoon before heading off separate ways.
We are mid way through the run for my play “The Session” with Twilight Theatre. Audiences have loved it and given brilliant feedback.
Audience feedback so far:
“fantastic… so much so that I’m going again tonight”
“Loved it, very tense… wonderful writing”
“What an amazing, fantastic performance! A brilliantly written script and a very very talented cast. The venue really lends itself to this play and you are completely drawn in to everything happening on the stage. This is an absolute Must-See for everyone, I guarantee you will be glad you did.”
“I watched this little gem last night. It gets the old grey matter thinking. One not to miss. Written by the amazing Suse Crosby”
James Roy, from Meridian FM: “Wow. Cleverly written, brilliantly performed. “The Session” at the lovely intimate Sweet Dukebox Theatre. Get fully immersed in the action whilst trying to work out who is the Doctor and who is the Patient!”
Still some tickets left – do come along!
And just before “The Session” opened, “Antling” written and performed by the amazing Helen Pepper Smith and directed by yours truly premiered, also as part of Hove Grown Festival.
Don’t worry if you missed it – this fabulous show will be back in the Brighton Fringe Festival, and in the Edinburgh Fringe too!
And if that wasn’t enough – next week I’ll be performing in the Wick Theatre‘s production of “Disappeared”. This has a fabulous cast and a great crew, led by director Guy Steddon.
The character I play has been challenging, because she’s really not very nice at all. When I saw myself in the publicity photos I was astonished I could look so – well – vile! Still some tickets left, runs 4 – 7 April.
One doctor, one patient – or are they? And who is who?
Part thriller, part humour: they try to unravel what’s going on. Each tries to gain the upper hand through banter and even bickering, as if they are married.
Sometimes witty; sometimes poignant; always surprising.
Looking for solid character actors, one man one woman, to play the two leads characters Emma and Tom. Some physicality required in performance.
Looking for pragmatic and flexible actors to be part of creating these roles in an intimate theatre space.
This is a great opportunity to be part of creating unique theatre.
Playing age: 25-45.
The play is one act and is 50 minutes long.
This is an equal profit share opportunity.
Details of the Audition:
Please prepare a minimum 1 minute maximum 2 minutes modern off-book monologue which gives an idea of your emotional range.
You may also be asked to read a section of the script with others. You are not required to be off book for this. This will be given at the audition, however, if you would prefer to read it in advance of the audition please contact below.
Thursday 1st February, 7.45 pm
Sweet Dukebox Theatre, The Southern Belle (formerly the Iron Duke), 3 Waterloo Street, Hove BN3 1AQ
Rehearsals: will begin the following week, to be agreed with cast, some flexibility will be required.