Back at the Theatre!

Actually saw a couple of shows last week. Both were at the Lantern Theatre and so interesting. The first one – not having been out in ages, I just wanted to enjoy it. The second: “Duty”, was so good, I wanted to write about it.

Written by Bomafabia Wokoma, directed by Laura Rinati, Bomafabia Wokoma and Lenette Randall, and Produced by “A Little Twisted”. Here’s my review on Broadway Baby – enjoy!

Reasons to be cheerful – part 1

At the beginning of this lockdown I was worried about my lovely little girl who was getting quite down. Even though lovely Mia has multiple special needs she is not currently able to go to school, which she adores; she can’t see her friends and she’s a very sociable outgoing little ray of sunshine that loves people. So, suddenly not seeing people, alongside not having the regular routine, is very hard.

But I’ve realised since that it was also really affecting me, and she was also picking up on my mood. Being restricted, being told what to do by people who I don’t respect: it was making me slightly crazy. I became quite down, trying to deal with being angry at a situation where I feel powerless and have no control… but. There are things that you can control. Of course there are. You just have to realise that in any difficulty, in any challenge: there is also massive opportunity.

Opportunity to push yourself out of your comfort zone, or think a little differently about something, or try something a bit new that you wouldn’t have tried before.

I cut my own hair. The ends were really fuzzy so I thought about how I could trim the ends when I have some hair scissors and have cut people’s hair before but never been trained and I’m not a hairdresser..! So I made 3 bizzare ponytails and cut the ends of my hair and thinned it out. The result is actually one of the best haircuts I’ve had. Which I’m sure is accidental, but there is no way I would have tried this had I not been exactly where I am right now.

And wearing odd combinations of things. It’s no secret that I love colour, but I do usually go for things that I know go together either in texture (like not wearing a jumper with shorts) or colour. I am currently wearing blue striped crop trousers and a spring green top – which I never would have done before; but I’ve discovered it actually looks nice. Who knew?

Third example – I had a sudden thought that instead of waiting for the right moment when my husband would have time to drill holes in the wall, I bought some sticky things to put things up on the wall that I’ve been wanting to do for over a year. I now have my four masks (I love masks) and two Macbeth daggers in a lovely (albeit a bit strange for anyone else looking at it) arrangement on my wall.

My little girl’s mood is lifted alongside mine, we are finding so much to do at home it’s really wonderful spending so much time with her. I’m reminding myself to wear jewellery even though the only person that notices it is me. I tell myself even though I’ve put on weight during this lockdown (who hasn’t?) that I look nice (if you have nobody that does it you need to do it for yourself: trust me, it helps).

Even when the world seems to have gone mad, there are always reasons to be cheerful (thank you Ian Dury for inspiring the title). You just need to remind yourself to look. And if you can’t find anything, look harder. Even if it’s a small thing: it may make a massive difference.

Brighton Fringe Postponed

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.

Suse x

Playing a nut job

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!

Last of the Fringe 2019

To end this year’s Fringe I saw four shows in three days. Yes, three of them were children’s shows and one of those I didn’t even bring Mia to as she was double booked – but I had committed to reviewing it.

We started with a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” on Friday which was delightful and charming. I wanted to give this 3.5 stars but the star rating won’t give halves. It was really lovely though and Mia loved the beast and having her photo taken with them! Review here.

Friday evening I was at Brighton Little for “The Pride”. I wouldn’t and couldn’t review this being a member of the Little. OH MY GIDDY GOODNESS I can’t even begin to tell you how absolutely brilliant it was. Superb script, beautifully and sensitively directed with perfect understanding of the material, and the acting was incredible. Sometimes BLT produce absolute class, and this was one of these moments. This is NOT a forgettable play, or a forgettable evening. This will stay with me. Wow. If I could have reviewed it I would have given 5 stars.

Saturday, this time without Mia, I saw “Ogg and Ugg and Dogg” about how early humans first connected with wolves and tamed them, thus creating one of our most beloved pets. Sounded great, and it started really well but after about 20 minutes just kind of fizzled out slowly through to the end. I really wished more for it as it had potential. I reviewed this and if you want to find it do search but I won’t put the link.

Sunday, the best at the last: my favourite has to be “This Noisy Isle” which was just brilliant. A fun non patronising children’s show which as a deeper message. More of these please! Mia absolutely loved it and so did Andy and I. Read my review here.

Latest Painting

Yes it’s a sunset painting in the Autumn when the birds, in this case geese, fly South, and I know it’s June BUT – nope, don’t really have an explanation. This was inspired by a photo from a friend of mine taken in Sweden.

Sometimes painting a scene from Sweden is a little heart moment for me.

Title: “Across the Autumn Sky”. First time I’ve taken two titles from the same song, but the paintings are related and both were inspired by photos taken by the same person.