Lily Susan Todd Topics List

Lily Susan Todd Topics List taken from her interview with Susan Croft, 26th March 2007,
recorded by Arlan Harris. Video and audio extracts edited by Jessica Higgs

Name from Susan to Lily

Childhood, family life & amateur theatre
The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy
Reading Repertory Company
Father & post war living experience
Amateur theatre experience

School years
Grammar school – positive women role models
Correspondence Courses for A levels

Growing up in the 1945 – 60 period
’Theatre World’ publication
Hungary and Suez – growing political awareness

Sussex University
Interview and acceptance
Tutorial system
Theatre experiences

Buzz Goodbody (BG)
First women directors
Joan Littlewood

1964, reading English and Philosophy
Theatre classes at Sussex University
Walter Iselink  and the Gardner Centre
Yale Dramat, actor training taught by Robert Brewstein,
Scene Study, Strasbourg Studio
First directing experience – adaptation of Tristam Shandy at University

Feminism and politics (1964 – 68)
Left wing politics at Sussex

Buzz Goodbody at Stratford RSC
BG winner of NUS Festival, offered place as PA/assistant to
John Barton at RSC
Job passed on to Lily the following year, when BG promoted
to assistant director
Watcher, observer, apprenticeship at RSC
Ian Richardson, Alan Howard, Helen Mirrem, David Waller
Terry Hands and working with John Barton learning the trade

ATV theatre director’s scheme
Placement at Leicester

Buzz Goodbody at RSC cont.
Central to RSC profile
John Barton’s The Merry Wives of Windsor
Brewster Mason, Brenda Bruce, Ian Richardson, Emrys James
BG’s additional work
Work with Trevor Nunn
The Romans
The Other Place
Hamlet with Ben Kingsley
Death at 28
Costs for women theatre artists
Few role models for women in theatre

Leicester Haymarket Theatre
Learning experiences
A Taste of Honey
Fanny Carvy, Joan Littlewood company
Lunchtimes and The Maids
The Proposal
Learning craft of directing
Robin Midgley

Other rep experiences
Canterbury 1970 -71, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Derby, The Price
Experience of large-scale texts
Jobbing director
Newcastle, Gillian Hanna, TIE, devised work
Gareth Morgan, University Theatre Newcastle
Michael Bogdanov
Associate Director at Newcastle
Company of 25 actors, season of plays, TIE, Lunchtime Theatre

Change of direction
Gillian Hanna, 7:84, John McGrath
Belt and Braces, Gavin Richards
Bread and Butter, CP Taylor
First feminist joint action at Belt & Braces

Introduction to Women’s Movement (1971-73)
Women’s Liberation workshop meeting
International Women’s Movement
Jane Arden’s soirees, Little Venice
Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven
Disaffected splinter group – LST, BG, Michele Roberts,
Dinah Brook, Alison Fell, Barbara Hickmott
The Women’s Street Theatre Group
Miss World Contest
Festival of Light, Trafalgar Square, Cliff Richards,
Moral rearmament, Cartoon at Festival of Light Rally
Arrest for disorderly behaviour

Protest at Festival of Light and Miss World
Gay Liberation group
Press reaction, Daily Mail
Identity of women as creatives

First women’s season at Almost Free Theatre
Developing discussions amongst women
Female Eunuch and feminist history
Ed Berman. Interaction, Almost Free Women’s Season
Pam Gems, Michelene Wandor, Ann Mitchell, Jenny Stoller,
Lianne Aukin
The Women’s Theatre Group WTG) split from other groups
WTG early work:
The Strike at Grunswick
My Mother Said I Never Should

Emergence of other women’s companies
Opportunities within theatre for women
Pam Gems (PG), Ann Mitchell, LST formed group
Go West Young Woman, Roundhouse, PG
Harold Hobson
‘The Women’s Company’ – one off piece
Monstrous Regiment 75/76
Merging of theatre and feminist
Monstrous Regiment: Gillian Hanna, Mary McCusker, Hannah
McCusker, Chris Bowler

Opportunities for women directors
Jane Howells, Caroline Eves
Ann Jellicoe on male support
Geroge Devine as a mentor
Sport About My Mother, Royal Court
Passing on jobs in theatre
Women seeking own space for work

Monstrous Regiment, premise and exploration
Joining Monstrous Regiment
First show. Chris Bond and Claire Luckham’s Scum – Death, Destruction and Dirty Washing
Helen Glavin (music)
Poster image and themes of Scum
Starting work on Scum
Roger Allam [Ian Blower missing name] Andrea Montag (design)
Script development
First performance, Scum, Cardiff, April 1976
Drill Hall (Action Space then)
Affect on audience
‘Revolutionary Soap Opera’
Gillian Hanna and the idea for Scum
Finding voice as women through Scum
Working on the script with Clare Luckham
Company’s way of working with writers
Company’s way of working as a collective

Monstrous Regiment productions
Kiss and Kill, writer and director
Teendreams, co writer David Edgar
Floor Show, Bryony Lavery(BL) [Caryl Churchill (CC), Micheline Wandor]
Vinegar Tom, CC
Light Shining in Buckinghamshire [CC]
CC’s collaboration with company
Helen Glavin
First 4 plays
Disapproval of women’s movement
Floor Show stopped in Leeds
BL, CC and Michelene Wandor
Content, themes & style of Floor Show
Almost Free Season, Jane Wibberly
Teendreams and co-writing with David Edgar
Full-time company members
Directing work in company
Pam Brighton, Vinegar Tom

On leaving Monstrous Regiment
Arianne Mnouchkine, Theatre du Soleil
Difficulties of a collective
Missed opportunities for alternative theatre in UK
Unfinished project with Roger Allam
Roger Allam
Clive Russell
Don Juan by Terco de Molina, The Trickster of Seville
Missed opportunities for alternative theatre practitioners to continue
Gavin Richards, Belt and Braces

Teaching at Rose Bruford
Thatcher’s ideological war
Companies who survived
Shared Experience, non political work, Mike Alfreds
Change in political climate
Rose Bruford

National Theatre of Brent, Patrick Barlow
The Charge of the Light Brigade, drawing design, Andrea Montag
Zulu, ICA, Julian Harf, BL
The Black Hole of Calcutta, Barbara Thorn, Bob Goody
Gotterdammerung, Penny Nice
Company scripts

Personal development
Cloud Nine, Liverpool Everyman
Peda James 80/81 at Liverpool Everyman
Chris Bond, Dracula, Liverpool Playhouse

Foco Novo, Savannah Bay, Marguerite Duras
Roland Rees, Artistic Director
Nigel Gearing
The play: Savannah Bay, Faith Brook , Alexander Mathey (actresses)
Iona McCleish, designer
Eden Cinema by Dumas
Offstage Theatre Downstairs
Duras Texts
Buddy Dalton, Offstage
Duras in British theatre

Tosca, Dublin 1986

Mid 80’s with Annie Castledine
Duke’s Theatre, Lancaster
Associate at Derby Playhouse
Women at Derby
Gaslight by Patrick Hamilton
Doing contemporary classics: Gas Light, Coward – Private Lives,
Orton – Entertaining Mr Sloane, The Children’s Hour – Lillian Hellman
Sunday’s Children, Pushkin – The Queen of Spades,
Schnitzler’s Lieberlei
Working with Annie Castledine

Pax, Deborah Levy 83/84, Women’s Theatre Group and others
New generation of writing
Levy as a writer
The WTG and Pax
New learning as a director
Anna Furse, co-directed
1980’s and new theatre forms
Hesitate and Demonstrate, Geraldine Pilgrim
Impact Theatre Co-op
Claire McDonald, Impact’s work
A Place in Europe – Impact

Directing at RADA and Wimbledon School of Art
The Lucky Chance, Jane Buckler, RADA commissioned

Wimbledon School of Art, Peter Farmer
Theatre design students, Wimbledon
Jane Buckler, The Slow Approach of Night

RSC Heresies 86/87 Women’s Project
Juliet Stevenson
RSC mini festival
Shirley Gee’s, Typhoid Mary
RSC Women’s project and meetings
Deborah Levy, Heresies
Workshop and rehearsal period
Susan Coulvert and casting
How the work was received at the RSC
Expectation for change not realised
Critical response, John Peter
The finished piece, Deborah Levy

Derby Playhouse experience
2 women at helm

Working in rehearsal with actors and students
Post Derby
Part-time post, Wimbledon School for Art
Co-led MA Theatre Design Course 5/6 years
Eden’s Cinema, Wimbledon School of Art
Hiawatha, Bristol
Change over to teaching, Dartington
Dublin and marriage
Actor training at Trinity, Dublin
Student productions
Central School of Speech & Drama
Pillow Talk in Europe, Deborah Levy
Associate Lecturer at CSSD

Remembering Buzz Goodbody memorial event 2005
Ambivalence of RSC
BG Trust and Award
Development and recording of event

Revisiting the past – Monstrous Regiment
Women on and off the agenda
Present possibilities
Attempt to revive company by Clair Venables
1990 and consequence.
Arts Council need for a director for funding

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