Sue Mayo

Staff details

Position Lecturer
Email s.mayo (
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7428
Sue Mayo

Sue Mayo is a freelance theatre maker, and Director of the MA in Applied Theatre. Sue worked as a performer for ten years, including work at The Lyric Theatre Belfast, the Young Vic, Upstream Children’s Theatre, and Theatre Royal Stratford East. During this time she continued her training in contemporary dance at The Place, the Laban centre, and X6 Dance Space. Sue founded Still Standing Dance Theatre with dancer Jane Mooney, and the company won the Bass Ireland Arts award for its contribution to the arts in Ireland.

Academic qualifications

  • BA Hons in Drama & Theatre Arts University of Birmingham


Sue has taught at Rose Bruford, South London Theatre School, Selly Oak College, Central School of Speech and Drama, and Queen Mary University of London. She has served on the Board of Talawa Theatre Company, Trestle Theatre and Leap Theatre Workshop. She was a founder member of the Refugees and the Arts Initiative. Sue received The Warden’s award for Public Engagement at Goldsmiths in 2019

Professional experience

Sue developed her work as a writer and director, working increasingly within Community and Education settings. Sue spent three years as Artistic Director of the Young National Trust Theatre, creating site specific theatre performed in National Trust properties throughout England. She first worked with Magic Me, the UK’s leading intergenerational arts provider, in 2003, and is now Associate Artist within the organisation. Sue developed their women only intergenerational work, with ten years of projects at The Women's Library, and further projects across Tower Hamlets. The 2012 project created an audio walking performance, Where the Heart is for the LIFT Festival, and in 2017 and 2018 the group created work for the WOW Festival at the South Bank Centre.

Sue continues her freelance work, most recently with The Academy of St Martin in the Fields on their first intergenerational project.  She has travelled to Brazil and South Korea to run training in intergenerational practice and continues to push for innovative work in this sector.  Arts Council England funded The Gratitude Enquiry, a series of three community projects exploring themes of reciprocity and gratitude. Two new projects are in development. Sue is currently working with artist Paula Varjack, on The Baby Question, an exploration of being childless/childfree.

Research Interests

  • Work with elders and in intergenerational settings
  • The role of the artist when facilitating
  • Cross cultural and post colonial issues within the creative space
  • The nature of the community created in workshops and rehearsal spaces
  • Collaboration and participation; where mainstream meets 'applied'

Publications and research outputs


Mayo, Sue; O’Dair, Charlotte and McAvinchey, Caoimhe M.. 2012. Detail and Daring : Research into the art and the craft of intergenerational work. In: "Weekend at Wilton's", London, United Kingdom.

Mayo, Sue. 2008. Artist in Collaboration. UNDEFINED.


Mayo, Sue. 2015-2018 Developing and Disrupting Intergenerational Performance Practice.

Mayo, Sue. 2016. DECORUM: Project Description.

Book Section

Mayo, Sue. 2020. The gratitude enquiry: investigating reciprocity in three community projects. In: Tim Prenti and Nicola Abrahams, eds. The Applied Theatre Reader (2nd Edition). Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 175-180. ISBN 9780367376291


Mayo, Sue. 2018. Feedback from Peterborough DECORUM.

Conference or Workshop Item

Mayo, Sue. 2017. 'Reflections on the Gratitude Enquiry'. In: The Performance of Care. Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, United Kingdom December 15th 2017.

Mayo, Sue. 2017. 'Reasons to be Cheerful: resilience , structure and care-fulness in socially engaged practice'. In: TaPRA annual conference. University of Salford, United Kingdom August 30th - 1st September 2017.

Mayo, Sue. 2016. 'The spaces in between: Relationships in participatory work'. In: TaPRA 2016. University of Bristol, United Kingdom 5th-7th Sepetember 2016.

Mayo, Sue. 2015. ''A Marvelous Experiment': Exploring ideas of temporary Community in intergenerational Performance Projects in East London'. In: New Tides Platform, Unoiversity of Malta. Unioiversity of Malta, Malta 14-16 September 2015.

Mayo, Sue. 2015. 'A Marvelous Experiment: Intergenerational practice'. In: New Tides Platform, Unoiversity of Malta. University of Malta, Malta 14-16 September 2015.

Mayo, Sue and Low, Katherine. 2014. 'Never flying solo:The Collaborative, Ordinary Heroes'. In: Theatre & Performance Reserach Association (TaPRA) annual conference. Royal Holloway, United Kingdom September 4-6th 2014.


Mayo, Sue and Lowry, Chuck Blue. 2012. The Gratitude Enquiry documentaries.


Mayo, Sue. 2018. Why use the arts in intergenerational practice?.

Mayo, Sue and Lowry, Chuck Blue. 2018. DECORUM: ACCEPT/REJECT.

Mayo, Sue and Blue Lowry, Chuck. 2018. Decorum Southend Participant feedback.

Mayo, Sue and Lowry, Chuck Blue. 2018. Decorum Participant Feedback Tower Hamlets.

Mayo, Sue and Lowry, Chuck Blue. 2017. The Gratitude Enquiry.

Mayo, Sue. 2015. Pinning Butterflies Friday Edit 1.

Mayo, Sue. 2014. Stories without numbers | Sue Mayo | TEDxSWPS.

Printed Ephemera

Mayo, Sue and Magic, Me. 2016. I live in it/Gratitude Enquiry invitation.

Magic, Me and Mayo, Sue. 2015. Speak as You Find flyer.

Mayo, Sue and Magic, Me. 2015. Rooms with a View/Love East London Flyer.


Amidu, Maria; Andrews, Tom; Corri, Tina; Flynn, Liz; Fox, Sarah; Mayo, Sue and McGuiness, Janice. 2019. Taking Care: the Art of Kindness. Other. People United, Canterbury, Kent.

McAvinchey, Caoimhe and Mayo, Sue. 2016. Rooms with a View: Disrupting and Developing Narratives of Community through Intergenerational practice.. Project Report. Magic Me, London.

Mayo, Sue. 2016. Rooms with a View participant feedback. Documentation.

Mayo, Sue. 2015. Speak as you find table host feedback. Project Report.

Mayo, Sue; McAvinchey, Caoimhe and Langford, Susan. 2013. Wild Wild Women: Ten Years of Intergenerational Arts Practice at The Women’s Library led by Magic Me in collaboration with Mulberry School for Girls and local, older women. 2004 – 2013. Project Report. Magic Me, London.


Mayo, Sue. 2018. Press Coverage/Decorum Southend. The Southend Echo, Southend.