Susannah de Wrixon is an actress and singer. Her stage work includes Alice in Funderland, Pygmalion, The Comedy of Errors, An Ideal Husband, The Shaughraun, Living Quarters and Saint Joan (Abbey Theatre), I, Keano (Olympia Theatre), Just a Little One (Bewley’s Café Theatre and Kilkenny Arts Festival), As Married as We Get (Bewley’s Café Theatre), Annie (Tivoli Theatre), Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure, Coriolanus and The Revenger’s Tragedy (Loose Canon) and Car Show (The Corn Exchange). Film and television credits include Une Épopée, The Clinic, Fair City and Ballykissangel. As a singer Susannah performed in Adolf Gabler a piece by Roger Doyle with the National Symphony Orchestra, The Alternative American Songbook (National Concert Hall), Blossom…dearly and Away in A Major (Irish tour), Fever (Irish and US tour), Please Don’t Make Me Feel So Happy (Olympia Theatre), The Girls of Summer (Opera Theatre Company), Kurt Weill Kaberet and Farewell Ella (Andrews Lane Theatre) and Pyjama Jazz (Tivoli Theatre). Susannah was one of The Nualas trio. She has also recorded three albums Pick Yourself Up, She Swims in the Sea and Tiny Tunes for Tiny People.

We chatted to her in advance of her performance in ‘The Unlucky Cabin Boy’ at The Civic.

Could you tell us a little about your journey into acting, and how it all happened for you?
I started acting properly when I was an undergraduate at UCD. The Dramsoc was a hive of activity. I shared that time with some high profile people – Conor Mc Phearson, Aidan McArdle, Philip Boucher Hayes, Dearbhle Crotty and many more. I won Best actress in 1990 at the Student Drama Festival. When I got my degree I went on to train in Trinity College Dublin  in the acting course. That was 21 years ago and I am still in the business!

What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?
I wish I was told how hard it is for an actress in the business and that talent is no guarantee of success.

What’s your favourite part of the process of acting?
I love rehearsals. It is the time of discovery in a very safe place. There are usually lots of laughs in the rehearsal room.

How did you get involved with this production?
I was asked to workshop the story a good 9 months before the show went into production. I did two development phases and we knew from very early on just how special this show would be. I was determined to stay with process until the full production.

If you hadn’t been an actor, what would you have done?
I am interested in people and communication and health so perhaps some kind of mediator, I’m not sure!

Can you tell us about your character?
I play two characters. I play the cabin boys mother who appears throughout the play. Her journey goes back and forth in time. The other role is that of a sailor on the ship so I get to play a man and I love this challenge. It’s very rare to get the opportunity to be cross cast.

What do you hope audiences will take away from watching ‘The Unlucky Cabin Boy’?
I think they will be moved by the story because it actually happened. We are playing people who lived and suffered greatly. I know they will love the music as it’s not your standard musical theatre – it’s very unique and Irish. Mike Finn’s writing is fresh and funny. People will have a very satisfying evening at the theatre.

What’s next for you?
I am giving a concert in the National Concert Hall in February with a string quartet, it’s a lovely fusion of jazz and strings. February 12th at lunchtime to be precise.

Do you have any dream roles?
I would love to play any woman in Shakespeare. He wrote really well for women and the journeys are big and bold.

And finally, what was the last TV show you binge-watched? How many episodes did you see in a sitting?
I had a phase of loving The Good Wife and watched about 4 episodes in a row. Is that soooooo bad?

The Unlucky Cabin Boy comes to at The Civic from Friday 13th – Saturday 14th November 2016. Tickets are €20 & €16 concession and are on sale from our box office – 01 4627477 or online here.