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          ANNOUNCING LONDON PUB THEATRES PATRON

           SUSAN PENHALIGON

Susan Penhaligon in Caste at Finborough 2017

 

I've done three shows at the FINBOROUGH: Hindle Wakes, an early feminist play; Martine, a French play translated by Pinter which was last performed at The National in the 90s and Caste, a Victorian play by TW Robertson, much loved by George Bernard Shaw.

 

Although the three plays were written for proscenium arch theatres, they were wonderful to perform at the FINBOROUGH.  What worked so well was performing in an intimate space. It makes a play very immediate for the audience, a unique experience you don't get in a larger theatre and it's exciting and challenging to be part of that.

 

I did a production of Misery at the KING’S HEAD THEATRE, I loved doing that and many years ago I worked at the OLD RED LION in a staged version of a Sylvia Plath poem.

 

When I started, as a young actor, a lot of us learnt our craft in repertory theatre, the same for directors, designers and stage management. The younger generation today don’t have 'rep' as the circuit no longer exists.  Many of them, not only get their first professional experience performing in a pub theatre, but also, they are seen by casting directors, agents and producers (particularly in London).   You can tour the UK in a play but hardly any 'industry' people see you.

 

Also, some of the best critics support the work being performed in pub theatres, people like Michael Billington, so young performers and those of us who've been around for a while, get reviewed.

 

Pub Theatres are fantastic, innovative, creative spaces, and that creativity feeds back into the industry.

 

The creative industries are worth a lot of money to this country and I think pub theatres have now become part of the bigger picture.  I think it's time for pub theatres to be taken seriously in terms of financial support and to make funding easier and more accessible for the companies putting the plays on. Perhaps pub theatres should get Arts Council grants? Or a system where successful productions feed money back into the Fringe. I don't know. But it would be amazing if it was easier for those brave, inspired creatives to get their show on.

 

Pub theatres can put on forgotten gems of plays and performances of new writing which often commercial theatres won’t touch.  They are keeping alive our theatrical heritage.  

 

 

                               - Susan Penhaligon May 2017

 

“Pub theatres are so important for the development of young theatre professionals, and keeping alive our theatrical history.”

susan-penhaligon Caste DuncanMooreSusanPenhaligon

I’ve done some of my best work in pub theatres because of the quality of the writing, the actors I was working with, the directors and the young companies who produced the plays.

 

What worked so well was performing in an intimate space. It makes a play very immediate for the audience, a unique experience you don't get in a larger theatre and it's exciting and challenging to be part of that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many actors, not only get their first professional experience performing in a pub theatre, but also, they are seen by casting directors, agents and producers (particularly in London).  

 

 

Perhaps pub theatres should get Arts Council grants? Or a system where successful productions feed money back into the Fringe.

 

 

 

Pub theatres can put on forgotten gems of plays and performances of new writing which often commercial theatres won’t touch.    They are keeping alive our theatrical heritage.

Susan Penhaligon

with Michael Praed in Misery at

Old Red Lion Theatre (2002)

Susan Penhaligon in Misery

 

Biography

 

Trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.

 

Theatre includes The Real Thing (Strand Theatre), Three Sisters (Albery Theatre), The Mysterious Mr Love and The Maintenance Man (Harold Pinter Theatre), Dangerous Corner (Whitehall Theatre and National Tour), Of Mice and Men (Mermaid Theatre), Rehearsal for Murder, And Then There Were None, All Creatures Great And Small, Having a Ball, Bedroom Farce, The Constant Wife, Mrs Warren’s Profession, Death Trap, Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, Agatha Christie’s Verdict and The Madness of George III (National Tours), The Complacent Lover, A Doll’s House, Time and the Conways, The Lower Depths and The Cherry Orchard (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Broken Glass (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Romeo and Juliet (Jermyn Street Theatre)

 

Film includes Top Dog, The Uncanny, The Confessional, The Land that Time Forgot, No Sex Please We’re British, Leopard in the Snow, Nasty Habits, Patrick, Soldier of the Queen, Private Road, Citizen Versus Kane and Say You Love Me.

 

Television includes Upstairs Downstairs, Tales of the Unexpected, Bergerac, Remington Steele, Casualty, Wycliffe, Doctors and Doctor Who. Susan played Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew for the BBC’s Shakespeare season, and Prue in A Bouquet of Barbed Wire. Other leading parts were in Fay Weldon’s Heart of the Country and Stan Barstow’s A Kind of Loving. She played Lucy in Dracula for the BBC and Judi Dench’s sister Helen in four series of the award winning sitcom A Fine Romance. She also played the regular role of Jean Hope in Emmerdale.

 

Writing includes a first novel, For the Love of Angel.

 

 

 

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