Susanna Hamnett Biography Image

Susanna Hamnett

Writer, Performer

Susanna Hamnett is an actor, theatre maker, director, artist-educator and clown, whose work has taken her across the UK, Europe, Canada, the US and Australia.

Born in London, Susanna started out exploring her love of language and story studying Russian and French at Cambridge University before winning scholarships to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to train professionally as an actor under the tutelage of renowned Shakespeare and Voice coach, Patsy Rodenburg.

For the next few years Susanna worked as an actor in theatre and television in the UK and with theatre practitioners in Poland and Moscow, looking to acquire the tools to start creating her own work. Her first attempt at performing her own material took her to the Canadian Fringe circuit where she met master clowns, John Turner and Michael Kennard (of ‘Mump and Smoot’) and she moved to Toronto to begin an intensive period of training with them, followed by extensive collaboration and a deepening exploration of the application of clown in other forms of theatre. She began directing shows and working to develop a theatrical voice that could explore and marry disparate passions and disciplines: Shakespeare, clown, storytelling, vaudeville, the serious and the mischievous.

Susanna is delighted to be back at the beautiful Swallow Theatre for a second time after having made her Swallow debut last year with Hotel Elsinore, a play that was created during lockdown with her two adult artist children (who also perform in it). 

Susanna is also a committed artist-educator and has worked in Canada and the US with students of all ages, including teaching masterclasses for university and college students, directing productions of Shakespeare with young teenagers, creating programs for teaching Shakespeare to at-risk teenagers and Grade 1-3 students in a Toronto inner-city school, and being a part of Lincoln Center’s Aesthetic Education Program. She believes in always working with a spirit of playfulness and creating an environment where students are fully engaged co-creators.

Last year Susanna received her Yoga Teacher’s Accreditation through the Vasishta Yoga Foundation in Kerala, India, and is developing teaching and workshops that can weave together yoga with other creative practices.