OPEN THE PARACHUTE 2011 Fundraising concert for Emergence
Soho Theatre Downstairs and Dorking Halls
Directed by Susan Franklyn Performers: Lisa Bowerman, Fiona Byrne, Ortis Deley, Susan Franklyn, Angus Kennedy, James Lamb, Kath Lovell, Emma Seigel, Christopher Whitebread, Singer/songwriter: Kaylagh Kavanagh, Musicians: Michael Burbidge piano, Kyle Langley drums, Andy Little guitar, Michael Maddocks trumpet
Open the Parachute fundraising concert for Emergence had something to captivate everyone. In the wonderfully atmospheric intimacy of the Soho Theatre Downstairs, the cast of 14 superb performers produced a poignant mix of poetry, prose, song and drama, all directed with great skill and sensitivity by Susan Franklyn. At times laugh-out-loud funny, at times movingly sad, the carefully selected excerpts of well and less well-known pieces of poetry and prose were fluidly woven into a gently provocative narrative that captured the essence of what it is to be human at the edge of our frailties, flaws and foibles. Musical interludes ranged from excerpts from West End shows to beautifully crafted original songs from the very talented Kayla Kavanagh. Sat just two rows from the stage, I felt a part of the drama and music throughout, as if the performance was being staged just for me. Certainly much of these short two hours resonated with my experiences of life’s turbulent times and I realised once again that I’m not the only one hoping for a safe landing. (Ian C.)
(K. Turner, Emergence Development Manager)
Christopher Whitebread and James Lamb (L.B Photography)
BLOOD RELATIONS by Sharon Pollock 2011 Staged Reading for Emergence
Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith
Directed by Susan Franklyn Cast: John Banks, Lisa Bowerman, Susan Franklyn, Max Gold, Lori Miller, Pauline Munro, Regina Reagan, William Whymper
Resurgence Theatre Company's staged reading of 'Blood Relations' was superb. The performances were engagingly and painfully truthful; the direction and staging was faultless. The play itself explores the question of guilt or innocence of the notorious Lizzie Borden who was charged with the murder of her parents in Massachusetts in 1892 and later acquitted. The haunting refrain of "Did you, Lizzie? Did you?" encapsulates the mystery surrounding the case, even to this day.
(Roxanna Ziolkowska, London)
Resurgence's staged reading of Blood Relations exhibited minimal but profoundly effective presentation. The consummate skill of their impressive actors left this audience in no doubt that they had spent the evening in the company of thoughtful and sensitive performers. A class act.
Pauline Munro and Susan Franklyn (L.B Photography)
Birmingham, York, London
Directed by Susan Franklyn Cast: Fiona Byrne, Susan Franklyn, James Lamb, Robert Lowe
A new short play by Susan Franklyn, with poetry by Fiona Byrne
Joanne is a single mother with a creative, demanding job. She has Borderline Personality Disorder. Her son, Liam, is on the brink of realising his ambition of going to university. How will she cope with his leaving? How will he cope? What support can "the system" or anyone else offer? Or is it all one gamble after another?
An excellent representation of the impact of Personality Disorder. Well written, well acted, imaginative and incredibly powerful.
National Personality Disorder Team
Department of Health & Ministry of Justice
Brilliant. This is more than just a theatrical piece - it will change lives.
Kath Lovell, Emergence, National Development Manager
I was struck by the power and simplicity of the narratives and their capacity to immediately engage me with the suffering of the characters. The clever use of lighting, music and movement stimulated a range of strong emotions for me, and, at one level actually 'assaulted' my cognitive and emotional processes. My abiding image was of the pain and suffering that surround individual psychological distress and how easy it can be for professionals to lose sight of that pain when attempting to fit people into predetermined and often soulless descriptions of what we describe as their 'psychopathology'. The talent of the experienced actors involved has the capacity to connect with our humanity, encouraging us to respond compassionately to the suffering of others.
Dr. Neil Gordon, The Institute of Mental Health
REALNESS REALNESS REALNESS
I respect Resurgences' desire to put integrity centre stage. Differentia offers the audience an opportunity to 'FEEL' the inferno of dysfunctional intensity it portrays. It deals sympathetically with the unremitting emotional pain and desperation that people with Personality Disorder experience daily and spotlights the devastating impact their symptoms have on both themselves and the other people in their lives. It sensitively tackles the widespread stigma associated with this condition and warns of the trans-generational nature of its development if left untreated.
Andy Brooker, current Service User, Emergence, Director
It's really hard to put into words how fantastic this is. This performance is an incredibly moving representation of living with the experiences associated with Borderline Personality Disorder. The painful reality of the performance allows the audience to develop an emotional insight into the challenges all individuals are facing in their lives, and provides an invaluable learning opportunity in which to explore the experiences of service users and carers, and most importantly, to enhance an empathetic understanding of individuals affected by this diagnosis.
Vicky Baldwin, Education and Practice Consultant, Institute of Mental Health
I was deeply affected by Differentia. It brought vividly and movingly to life the profound impact that Borderline Personality Disorder can have on a service user, her family and friends and in a way that was very alive to her strengths and creativity as well as the intense distress experienced by her and those close to her. The theme of a son leaving home and the anxieties, hopes and fears that this can engender was a very effective way to dramatise the underlying fear of abandonment that can be so powerfully present in those for whom abandonment and rejection may have played such a key part in their early and subsequent development.
Martin Wrench, Principal Social Worker, Henderson Core Team
Fiona Byrne (L.B Photography)
Robert Lowe (L.B Photography)
LOVE BITES 2009
The Leatherhead Theatre
Directed by Susan Franklyn Cast: Lisa Bowerman, Fiona Byrne, Ortis Deley, Kathryn Douglas, Susan Franklyn, Max Gold, Angus Kennedy, James Lamb, Edd Mott, Kelly Winch, William Whymper Set Design: Sarah Jones Costume Design: Elizabeth Callow Lighting Design: Rob Mills
Shakespeare's words. Contemporary style
An invitation to a party attracts a vibrant collection of characters with one uniting factor - LOVE. Tender, dangerous, passionate, comic and sweet - will they find, reject, destroy or embrace it? Drawn from Shakespeare's plays and sonnets, LOVE BITES is a richly imagined, fast paced ensemble piece with sensational music by Duke Ellington.
I programmed Love Bites at Leatherhead Theatre as part of the venue's 40th birthday celebrations. It was my intention to signal the return of high quality drama to the stage and this production fulfilled that aim magnificently. It remains the highlight of that spring season and one of the pieces I am most proud of welcoming to the theatre during my time as Artistic Director.
A wonderful, witty, charming, colourful, relaxing evening. . . Beautifully performed...I enjoyed it so much, I forgot the words were written by Shakespeare!
(David Warner actor)
The whole show was utterly brilliant. I loved every minute of it. Acting 10/10, direction 10/10, script 10/10, set 10/10 - the entire production was ace.
(M. Kempner, Horley)
Local brilliance on a capital scale - a great night out.
(S. Hewtson, Westcott)
Fabulous performance! We really enjoyed it.
Loved it. Very clever and well put together. A great evening's entertainment.
(S. Morgan, Fareham, Hants)
Fantastic! I loved it.
(D. Down, Stroud Green)
Brilliant ensemble performance. Totally engaging. Can't wait for the next production.
(V. Phillips, Ranmore)
James Lamb, Fiona Byrne, Lisa Bowerman. Edd Mott, William Whymper, Angus Kennedy, Ortis Deley, Kathryn Douglas, Kelly Winch, Max Gold
Kelly Winch, Susan Franklyn, Ortis Deley