Sue Mayo

Staff details

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Phone+44 (0)20 7919 7428
Sue Mayo

SUE MAYO is a freelance theatre maker, and convenor of the MA in Applied Theatre.

Sue completed her B.A. in Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham, and then 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.

She subsequently 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 one at The Bishopsgate Institute. The 2012 project created an audio walking performance, Where the Heart is for LIFT 2012. 

Sue continues her freelance work, most recently with LIFT on ‘Eat London’, and it’s LIFT living Archive projects, with Full Circle Productions on ‘Another Kind of Silence’, (Edinburgh 2009), and ‘Blooming Snapdragons’, (The Curve, Norwich, and the Royal Society, London 2010),  and as a consultant and trainer, evaluating the National Trust’s ‘London Voices’ project, training artists at the Geffrye Museum, and leading professional development workshops for Magic Me.  She was consultant to the Artists of Bangladeshi Origin network, and the Somali Housing Association intergenerational initiative. Sue has written five libretti for the composer Francis Grier, and edited four editions of prose and poetry by community groups.

In 2012 Sue worked with project Phakama, LIFT, Magic Me and the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, and in 2015 will be directing Rooms With A View, a site specific Community play exploring conflicting narratives of East London, and Come Dine With Me, a storytelling and feasting performative meal, at Ovalhouse.  She will visit Brazil to teach intergenerational arts practice as part of Resonate, the partnership between London and Rio, the next city to host the Olympics.

Sue has taught at Rose Bruford, South London Theatre School, Selly Oak College and Queen Mary University of London.  She is on the Board of Talawa Theatre Company, having previously served on the Boards of Trestle Theatre and Leap Theatre Workshop. She was a founder member of the Refugees and the Arts Initiative

Research Interests:

Work with elders and in intergenerational settings

Dementia and creativity

The role of the artist in collaboration with communities

The nature of temporary community in participatory arts

Gratitude and connectivity


Sharing the Experience, a handbook on intergenerational work, with Langford S.

ISBN 0-9538680-I-X

Chapter, ‘A Fresh Look’, in Enticing the Learning, by Staley Dr J

ISBN 0 704426 072 978807 04426078

Chapter, ‘The touring performance’, in No Longer Dead to me, Ed. Woodhead S. & Tinniswood A.  ISBN 0 7078 02660

Many Connections -article for the Journal for Education in Museums, March 2006

Case study for the Group for Education in Museums, December 2009

Engaging Elders-participation and learning n the Heritage sector: Paper for Local Studies Group, CILIP, June 2009

Bouncing off and Diving in: participatory  work with the LIFT living archive. Paper resented to the CILIP special collections conference, Lanacster 2010

Beyond nostalgia: the temporary community in intergenerational work

Paper presented at TaPRA 2010

Chapters in Performance and Community: Commentary and Case studies, Ed Caoimhe McAvinchey, Bloomsbury Methuen, 2013

Academic qualifications

BA Hons in Drama & Theatre Arts University of Birmingham

Research Interests

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'



Detail and Daring : Research into the art and the craft of intergenerational work
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.

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

Wild Wild Women: Intergenerational projects at The Women’s Library
Mayo, Sue. 2008. Wild Wild Women: Intergenerational projects at The Women’s Library. Women's Library, London, United Kingdom 2008-2013.