9 Shows in 10 Days – Happy Happy

How’s your Brighton Fringe going? Seen any good stuff?

I’ve been lucky enough to see some phenomenal shows so far. The most surprising has been “Paul and Laura Don’t Give A Sh*t (Sorry)” which I reviewed for Brighton Source, and I absolutely LOVED. I laughed until I cried and nodded so vehemently in agreement with things that I’m surprised I didn’t wreck my neck. It was so incredibly inspiring too. “What would you do tomorrow if you didn’t give a sh*t?” they ask, genuinely wanting to know everyone’s answer.

“Twisted Tales” (also Brighton Source) is so slick and clever – physical theatre done well is like a warm hug. Another little joyful gem (again Brighton Source) is “The Ballad of Mulan”: such power in this petite framed woman, such a fascinating story of war and fear and hiding your true self, and a really interesting exploration of gender labels. That potentially makes it sound academic – it’s not – read my review instead – it’ll tell you more.

But the biggest standout so far has to be “Magpie” (Broadway Baby). I was blown away. I was literally speechless at the end, took a minute to recover, and when I found my voice again I have been going on about it to anyone who would be polite enough to listen.

I can’t stress this enough – if you get the chance, go and see these shows. Don’t even hesitate, just go.

You’re welcome.

Brighton Fringe – it begins – and: my show

Happy Merry Fringe everyone!

First of all – thank you everyone who attended the Brighton Fringe press panel event and everyone who wrote inviting me to your show. I’ve now programmed in 21 shows to see in 3 weeks as a result.

I had hundreds of emails so if I didn’t reply please don’t be offended – it doesn’t mean your pitch wasn’t good or that you won’t get reviewers – it simply means that I couldn’t fit it in.

I wish everyone putting shows on in Brighton Fringe the best time and a great run!

So here is my show – collaborating with the fantastic Sam Nixon from Gin Palace Productions, with “Loyalty – Lady Montague and Lady Capulet”:

What happens after ‘Romeo and Juliet’?

Lady Montague waits for Lady Capulet – a long standing family rivalry hides a long forgotten friendship. What happened to them? What have they become? And is there any way through this minefield of feelings, trying to remember who they are, versus what is expected of them as wives and mothers?

A play about loyalty: to family, to your children, your partner – and most of all to yourself: what you know and feel to be right. A poignant, sometimes funny, sometimes tragic look at the lives of two women who we know so little about.

Wednesday 29, Thursday 30 May, Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June

6.45 – 1 hour

at Bar Broadway (off Broadway), Brighton, BN2 1TY

Ticket link here

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

My first review for Brighton Source at Brighton Theatre Royal. This was the second time I’ve seen this show but this production was far superior to the first incarnation: the difference in the energy of the lead made all the difference. This is only the second time I’ve been in a theatre where everyone – every single member of the audience – spontaneously got to their feet to applaud at the end of the show. And it was worthy of that standing ovation.

Twelve Angry Men

Saw this on Monday at Brighton Theatre Royal. Absolutely brilliant. Loved it. Here’s the longer version:

Review on Brighton Source

Plus, not forgetting, Patrick Duffy (looks and fails to find gushing heart emojis) who I had a crush on aged about 6 (precocious child) when I saw him on TV in “The Man From Atlantis”. Such a privilege to see him in this on stage.

Wick Theatre Company’s Production of Frankenstein

It’s been an amazing journey in support of this fabulous production. I have some really good friends in the cast, among them Phil Nair-Brown playing the Creature, and Sam Razavi playing Victor Frankenstein. These actors are incredible professional actors, super talented, and also super lovely humans. Their scenes together are electric – they positively sizzle.

So if you’ve seen any publicity on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, that will be my doing. Or press, for example this lovely article across the Worthing Herald Group of newspapers thanks to Phil Hewitt: click here. Or if you see the show and like the programme, thank you very much!

I’ve also been part of creating the lighting for the show, and I will be running lights (and there are a lot of changes) during the show. I don’t expect you to notice necessarily unless you are involved with theatre yourself – it’s there to add ambiance, to improve your theatrical experience – so people usually only notce if it’s wrong or jarring! Which is the same for sound of course. It’s been full on, lighting tech until 1.25 in the morning, then back in the Theatre 2 days later as there seemed to be issues (which it turned out there wasn’t) but changes and tweaks were requested: another 3 hours. It’s all worth it if it looks amazing, and it does.

And working with some brilliant friends while you do all this? Priceless. Absolutely priceless.

Oustanding Contribution to the Arts

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:

New Backstage Roles

I continued my Lighting Design training with the brilliant Martin Oakley for Wick Theatre’s Pygmalion in January. It was brilliant to be able to use my maths and logical brain for the computer part, and my artistic brain for the actual lighting design, including creating a wonderful sky colourscape for big scenes set in a conservatory: I loved every bit of it!

I also ran lights during the show and was able to amend and add things that needed it on the fly, during a show, which was amazing.

Plus – never one to shirk a challenge, I did the Deputy Stage Manager: DSM role. At Wick Theatre, and some others I’ve worked with, the DSM runs the show: following the script with a detailed eye and calling all the cues: lights, sound, projections, haze, actors to the stage and anything else that’s going on. This did give me sleepless nights as so much was depending on me but I also loved every second. I benefitted from training from Julian Batstone who has been part of every Wick production since he joined, and is our most experienced DSM. I couldn’t have done it without his support.

It was really cold in the Lighting Box, by the end of the week I had brought in scarves and hats and blankets and so had the very lovely Doffey who was running sound – also for the first time! We had a great time in the box. A lovely friend had just made me fingerless gloves and I wore them throughout!

I also organised the publicity campaign of course! But it was amazing to learn 2 brand new roles in theatre. You’re never too old to learn new things or develop your skillset.

Onwards and upwards! What’s next!

Clue! On Stage!

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.

Link to the Promotional Trailer: click here

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