“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming Wow! What a Ride!” – Hunter S. Thompson
Suzy joined BROS TC in 1993 as a costume consultant on Through the Years. Never one to shy away from a challenge, the following year, she costumed Guys & Dolls at Richmond Theatre and appeared in the ensemble. She continued to bring her extraordinary sense of vision to our production of Kiss Me Kate at Polesden Lacey the year after – one of BROS’ most spectacular productions and thanks in no small part to Suzy.
She had an eye for colour, formidable dressmaking skills and a special talent for seeing the overall look of a scene before it even made it to the stage. She costumed numerous productions over the next few decades, including The Boyfriend, Follies, Anything Goes, In the Mood, Half a Sixpence, Hello Dolly, Sweet Charity, Singing in the Rain, Thoroughly Modern Milly, Into the Woods, Musical of Musicals (The Musical), The Producers and High Society, and was on the wardrobe team for several other shows.
She also performed in a number of these, usually in the chorus. Suzy was a fine singer and musician. She made a point of joining a choir everywhere she lived and even started a successful a Capella group involving several BROS members, writing arrangements and acting as choir director.
Despite years spent in the UK, her speaking voice remained resolutely Californian; in the 1997 production of Under Milk Wood, the Welsh accent eluded her completely. But she certainly had stage presence, as her Cell Block Tango character in Chicago the previous year attested.
In 2000 Suzy took over as BROS chairman, a role she fulfilled with energy, determination and vision, albeit ruffling some feathers in her drive to find new directions for the society during her two-year tenure. In 2019, she was nominated by London NODA for the Sylvia Rawlings Lifetime Achievement award.
Suzy was married three times, first to George with whom she had three daughters and a son, then Ed and finally Kevin, a fellow-choir singer and musician. When Ed died, she became de facto grandmother to his granddaughter Laurelin – although she always insisted that she was far too young to be a grandmother!
She was always ready to pitch in with a new project, was hugely hospitable and sociable and, despite the restrictions of the past year, still managed to keep in touch with many BROS friends who were so much part of her life.
Suzy will be sorely missed by the generations of BROS members she leaves behind. Our thoughts go to her family at this sad time.