Rosalind is the role she’s always wanted to play, says Susanna Gordon who gets her chance with Rainbow Shakepeare’s production of As You Like It in Worthing’s Highdown Gardens (until July 27).
Susanna was in Rainbow’s productions of The Merry Wives of Windsor and Romeo & Juliet last summer and has remained with the company in Worthing.
Now, As You Like It will be her last hurrah before heading back to London and the rounds of auditions.
“We had a fantastic time in Highdown Gardens last year,” Susanna says. “”It was such a wonderful experience do to theatre outdoors. People focus on a lot of the negative things in this country about the weather being such a challenge, but the key thing really for me about outdoor theatre is that it is just so magical. You just get so much out of doing it. You are taking the audience on such a wonderful journey, and I think that Rainbow really does offer a new look at Shakespeare. You can be in a theatre and be really enchanted and engrossed in the play, but going outdoors really adds so much.
“I always think of the environment as a character in whatever play you are doing. If you are indoors, the theatre itself is the character. If you are outdoors, it is that outdoor setting, and that extra character, the environment, that really does make a difference to what you are doing.”
And it’s great to be Rosalind: “Everyone knows about Rosalind, that it is the biggest part that Shakespeare gave to a woman, but it has always been the dream part for me to play. What makes it so interesting is the fact that she is playing three people. She is playing the woman that is in love with Orlando, a woman that has quite a low status and also a woman who is playing a boy who has a higher status.”
There is an element that, when you are wearing a mask, you can become much less inhibited: “But if you take away the mask, people start to become much more concerned about the way that they are being perceived so that I think that when she is being Ganymede, that’s perhaps when she is being the true Rosalind in some ways if you can see what I mean.”
Susanna graduated from the Guildford School of Acting in 2007: “I studied there and did the acting degree. After graduating I was working for a while doing various smaller theatre productions and also bits and pieces in smaller film projects as well.”
And then Rainbow came along last year. But after this year’s run, it will be straight back to London to try to continue her career.
“I will be going back to auditions. I have got an audition lined up early in August. It’s hard, but I keep reminding myself that I am doing the best job in the world and that I absolutely love it and that’s why I am doing it.
“Of course, you have got to be persistent, but people assume that ambition and persistence always come in one form, but I have found that you have got to find your own way of doing it. I am sure that if you are true to yourself, you will get there in the end!”
Tickets from www.worthingtheatres.co.uk or on the door.