Playwright: Carol Birch wrote, and will direct, this year’s pantomime, Sleeping Beauty. *Photo supplied
Playwright: Carol Birch wrote, and will direct, this year’s pantomime, Sleeping Beauty. *Photo supplied

Carol Birch has been involved in theatre for many years, playing many diverse roles, as an actor, director and a techie at the Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society (Her home away from home). Carol was recently made President of BMDS and is working to bring writing and drama to as many people as possible. Over the last few years she has taken up playwriting and had five plays become finalists in “Famous for Fifteen Minutes” play writing contest. Her play Just Reward, went on to be produced in Toronto Canada at the Alumni Theatre.

She has also written and directed four pantomimes and is presently working on Sleeping Beauty for this year’s Christmas show. She has also worked extensively with G&S, the Jabulani Repertory Company and The Triangle Theatre Company where she was the Artistic Director producing supper theatre at the Hamilton Princess and Dockyard. She was also the local director for the critically acclaimed Tony n Tina’s Wedding in conjunction with Bermuda Tourism for two seasons. 

She has two boys, James and Adam and daughter-in-law, Shabnam. Interview by Sarah Lagan.


 

When did you last laugh out loud and why?

A few minutes ago when my son Adam showed me some old photos he found — was I really that young with curly red hair!?


Your earliest memory?

Sitting in my pram outside Woolworths along with all the other kids, covered in chocolate biscuit — a bribe for sitting still while mum shopped (who would dare do that today?)


What were you like in school?

I was told I was a chatterbox and to, for goodness sake sit still, except when I was in the school play or singing in the choir, then it seemed to be okay to let loose, I was a very confused child!


If you were given a million dollars tomorrow what would you do with it?

After treating my family I would throw a huge party and dance all night, then go travelling….


Who is your hero/heroine?

Anyone who fights against oppression and inequality but recently I must say Malala Yusuf Zai has inspired me.


Human trait you value most in others?

Kindness and compassion.


Your greatest fear?

Too many books, not enough time.


Describe yourself in three words...

Bubbly, sincere, short…


Which human trait do you dislike the most?

Being cruel to advance yourself.


Best party you’ve ever been to?

My 60th birthday, especially the special surprise present, don’t mention the bongos — it was outrageous.


Anyone you’d like to say ‘sorry’ to?

I generally  say sorry as soon as I make a mistake but if there is anyone reading this who I owe one to, call me, we’ll have drinks and talk.


Worst job you’ve ever done?

Bartender on a pleasure boat in Portsmouth. We couldn’t open the bar before we were out in open water by which time the thirsty customers wanted our blood!


Biggest regret?

I wanted to be a nurse, but home circumstances didn’t allow it. I have nursed a few headaches over the years though, does that count?


Closest you’ve ever come to death?

A few years ago I had a major health problem and it was touch and go. I have also had some close calls but mostly self-inflicted…I had a close call with a snow making machine once…ouch.


Your favourite play?

Anything by Martin McDonagh.


What animal would you be and why?

A cat, they are independent and bold.


What do you do if you can’t sleep?

That happens most of the time now so I read a lot and come up with plot lines for plays.


If you had a time machine, where would you go?

Elizabethan England, I have a fascination with that era.


Your most memorable dream?

Unfortunately it’s a nightmare where I am lost and being pursued in a large futuristic factory….It was years ago but I still remember every detail.


Most unpleasant exchange you’ve had with a person?

There have been a few over my many years, the worst was with a bully in my school days. I often wonder what became of her.


Best advice you have ever taken?

No regrets. It is always the right decision at the time.


What do you most dislike about you appearance?

The luggage under my eyes… at least it is designer, dahlink.


What do you like best about your appearance?

I think my best feature would be my blue eyes, I got those from my Mum, hers are a real ice blue.


Nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?

‘It’s a boy’ — that happened twice, how lucky am I?


Define romantic love.

Making that special someone feel that you would lay down your life for them.


What’s your best joke?

It’s an actor’s joke (what else?) An actor gets a call to say she has to go on stage that night in a city many miles away and the only line is “hark, I hear the cannons roar”. So she set off  saying those words over and over as she travels by taxi, plane and yet another taxi and arrives at the stage door still saying the line over and over again, “hark, I hear the cannons roar”…and is immediately pushed on stage at which point a large cannon fires, to which she shouts ‘What the  ‘bleep’ was that!!”


Most treasured possession?

A locket of my mother’s.


A dream location for a home?

Anywhere overlooking a stunning beach.


Guilty pleasure?

Marmite, yum.


Favourite film?

The Princess Bride.


Your proudest achievement?

Being awarded the Stella Hallsell award for the arts from my peers.


What would you most like to be remembered for?

Being a good friend.