I’m Clare-Louise: my dad was an actor and my mum was a dancer, I was never going to be an accountant! I live and breath theatre, theatre is in my blood it courses through my veins and keeps my heart pumping.
I’m a theatre-maker and performer, I like to make work that packs a punch but with the lightest of touch, theatre that creeps in at your heart and softly opens it to the world around us. Theatre that is highly physical and visual that makes an audience laugh and then not realise they’re crying.
I like to be physical in our work, I love exploring the innocence of clown and I feel a true sense of freedom in our mask work, I love the way it allows me to watch you, watching me!
I’m passionate about the work we make at Hot Coals Theatre, the HOW and the WHY. I believe we are finding our own unique style of theatre and I’m proud and protective of it.
I love to make people laugh: laugh at me when I’m happy, laugh at me when I’m sad, laugh at me when I’m silly, but never make the mistake of not taking me seriously!
Ever since I was young I have had a passion for making things. Creating something from scratch and watching it evolve. I began acting at a young age, but only really discovered my place in theatre after studying Drama at Winchester University. Here I discovered I had a knack for not only performing, but for the whole process, from producing, directing and writing, right through to designing, building set and making the props, something which I have continued to do for Hot Coals.
I then was privileged to be one of the first ever to study MA Theatre Lab at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) where I not only discovered a whole world of physicality I had never explored before, but I also met Clare-Louise. It became clear from there that we both had a passion for storytelling and we formed Hot Coals.
Over the years I have become hugely passionate about the work we make. We create stories that not only address important social issues, but stories that bring people together in laughter, and even tears. We don’t bash our audience over the head with our messages, but, like our greatest inspiration Charlie Chaplin, we break down the barriers through laughter and create a safe space for our audience to feel and think.
“To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it” Charlie Chaplin
…and a word from our Patron, Caroline Parker MBE
As proud and happy Patron I’m always happy to work with these amazing performers Clare English and Jo Sargeant. They continue to evolve their style of performance, devising and theatre. Knock Knock is another wonderful Hot Coals production continuing their policy of making sure their shows can be accessed by not only deaf people, but people who have different language perceptions, for example learning difficulties and foreign visitors.
Caroline Parker is an award-winning performer and director. She has appeared in TV, theatre, cabaret and stand up. Over her long and varied career she has worked with companies such as Birds of Paradise, Red Earth Theatre, Krazy Kat Theatre and is currently working with The National Theatre and Frantic Assembly on The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time.
In the cabaret circuit Caroline performs her unique style of signed songs, making music accessible to deaf people and sign language accessible to hearing people by rendering well known songs such as Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights in sign, dance and mime, to express songs like you've never seen them before.
At the 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony she signed the closing number 'I am What I Am' alongside Beverly Knight. Catch her recent TEDx talk on 'Singing Without Her Voice'.