A latecomer to writing for the stage (2007), Susannah attended courses at Script Factory and was fortunate to have two fantastic mentors in the craft of making a script work. In previous lives she’s been a copywriter, translator, editor/ghost writer on systems engineering, project manager, and consultant on business risk and communications.
Fernando and his Grandmother
“It’s the voices, boy, the voices.”
He’s a troubled boy, haunted by private terrors. From an early age the only refuge is his intimacy with his demented grandmother Dionisia. They are a conspiracy of two. They are complicit. Faced with a disapproving and seemingly threatening world, they share a private universe of make-believe games and songs.
Armando Nascimento Rosa is a leading Portuguese playwright and winner of numerous awards, with productions and staged readings of his plays in Madrid, London, New York, Zurich, Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, Barcelona, Milan, Chicago and Ithaca. My translation of his Menino de Sua Avó (Fernando and his Grandmother) was performed as a staged reading on 31st July at the Omnibus Theatre, Clapham with Dora DaCruz as the Grandmother and Patrick Campbell as Fernando Pessoa, directed by Almiro Andrade – as part of the Out of the Wings Festival 2019.
Reality - the Final
“The afternoon room is very depressing. It’s not enough to be fucked up, you have to be fucked up and listen to Kenny G. It’s a lot to contend with.”
Translated into English from the original Portuguese by Michelle Ferreira, in Reality - The Final we’re witnessing the last weeks in the life of a once-celebrated soap opera actress with cancer who is persuaded to participate in a reality TV show. The characters involved are variously psychopathic, self-absorbed, foul-mouthed and narcissistic and they inhabit a voyeuristic spectacle-addicted world which produces “extreme entertainment” such as this reality show where the last to die wins and where we are the studio audience. It was staged in London as part of the Out of the Wings festival 2018 at the Cervantes Theatre, Southwark, directed by Ramiro Silveira.
The Real Mother of Marilyn Monroe
Translated into English by Susannah Finzi from the Portuguese by Armando Nascimento Rosa, one of Portugal’s foremost contemporary writers for the stage, A Mae Biologica de Marilyn Monroe was first performed in Lisbon (in Portuguese) in October 2016 and premiered in the English translation with the Luciole International Theatre Company, Houston, Texas in May 2017 directed by Clara Ploux.
In July 2017 it was the first of five translated plays performed script in hand in the Out of the Wings Mostra at the Cervantes Theatre, London directed by Ramiro Silveira.
The Bottom Line
“There’s always a Plan B, Prime Minister.”
Who really thought austerity was a good idea? Inside Number 11 Downing Street it’s all cronyism, power play and spin. The Chancellor is the poodle of his spokesman and cuts, greater than ever, are deemed the only response to the crisis, and even the Prime Minister’s own household is feeling the pinch. Out in the real world people find their own solutions. But there’s one person who isn’t fooled, an unlikely hero who’s determined to find Plan B.
The Bottom Line was performed at the The cornerHOUSE Theatre, Surbiton 18th-20th July 2019 directed by the writer with a cast including Natalie Bell, Peter Brooker, Lulie Bull, Ed Chesterman, Frazer Chesterman, Shonese Howell, Lee Hutchings, Melanie Mortiboys, James Thomson and Michelle Whitehead with original songs, words and music by Flloyd Kennedy.
“The problem is he’s simply not the man I married.”
This one act comedy for three actresses was inspired by farcical opera plots and Samuel Beckett’s characters, immobilised in their dustbins and sand heaps. Now we’re closer to home in a Surrey beauty spa and with the anonymity of the turban, the warmed towelling wrap and with music to relax the troubled spirit, we can so easily find ourselves confiding in a stranger.
Baring All was directed by Claire Morrissey at the CornerHOUSE Theatre, Surbiton as part of their annual One Acts festival in April 2018. As one of 24 plays in the October 2018 60th Woking Drama Festival and with a cast of Jessica Barber, Emily Newton and Jacquie Slater, it was nominated for best actress, best supporting actress, best comedic moment and best new play.
“It isn’t hiding if no one is looking for him”
The background is a Nazi war crimes trial in the 1980s, but Blind Eye is not a play about the holocaust. The case is the motor which drives a story of the conflicting interests of a human rights lawyer and a peace negotiator, and of the legacies parents leave their adult offspring. Her business is justice, his business is saving lives.
Blind Eye was first performed at the Estrela Theatre, Lisbon in March 2014 with a multi-national cast directed by Valerie Braddell.
The London premiere was in October 2014 at Theatre503, directed by Benet Catty, with Claire Louise Amias, Steve Mace, Gil Sutherland, Anthony Green, Robert Maskell and Tony Wredden.
Blind Eye is translated into Czech by Jaroslav Beznoska and is represented in the Czech Republic by Dilia Literary Agency, Prague.
“I didn’t just want to be like you. I wanted to be you.”
The rugby club reunion in a rural pub. Two apparently successful men invent and reinvent themselves until a seemingly remote accident exposes the myths they project and the denials they persist in so strongly.
Reunited won the Gloucestershire Drama Association Best Play Writing Award (2012) and was performed at the Kings Theatre Gloucester in October 2012, directed by the writer.
Reunited is translated into Czech by Jaroslav Beznoska and is represented in the Czech Republic by Dilia Literary Agency, Prague.
“There’s always a Plan B, Prime Minister.”
Inside Number 11 Downing Street it’s all cronyism, power play and spin. The Chancellor is the poodle of his spokesman, and cuts, bigger than ever, are deemed the only response to the crisis. But there’s one man who isn’t fooled, one man determined to find out what’s really going on, an unlikely hero who knows what to do.
Cuts! was performed as a staged reading at Kings Theatre Gloucester in January 2012, directed by the writer.
Come to Where I’m From
Commissioned by Paines Plough as part of their nationwide project: an invitation to audiences to see the towns and cities they call home through the eyes of local playwrights. Paines Plough teamed up with theatres throughout the UK and challenged four or five writers from each area to write a 10-15 minute monologue entitled “Come to Where I’m From” and invited the writers to read the plays themselves. Mine was performed at Chipping Norton Theatre, in June 2012 and the recording included in the Paines Plough Come to Where I’m From installation at the London Literary Festival, October 2014.
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