How stagey are you? Sharon D. Clarke vs Susie McKenna

Our stagey battles continue with this pair of Panto stars

Sharon D. Clarke

Sharon D. Clarke won an Olivier Award for her performance in The Amen Corner at the National Theatre last year.

Other theatre credits include originating the roles of Killer Queen in We Will Rock You and Oda Mae Brown in Ghost the Musical.

She is the Voice of Davina the Diva Harp in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Hackney Empire

Susie McKenna

An actress, writer and director, Susie is currently the Creative director at Hackney Empire.

She has written and directed every Christmas show and pantomimes at the Empire since 1998 including this year’s Jack and the Beanstalk.

Her West End theatre credits include Chicago, Cats, The Witches Of Eastwick and Ragtime.

What was the last show you went to see?

The Silver Sword at Coventry Belgrade Theatre in September. 1

A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes at the Tricycle Theatre last month. 1

How many cast recordings do you own? Which is your favourite?

At least 50. My favourite is The Gospel at Colonus. 1

Including vinyl? 75 at least. My favourite is Dreamgirls! 1

What is the stagiest picture on your phone?

Picture courtesy of Darren Bell. 2 [Bonus point for Larry]

Me and our Hackney Empire team at the UK Theatre Awards. 1

How many times have you seen Wicked?

Twice. 0

Four times 1

Who would you invite to a dinner party (dead or alive)?

Maya Angelou, Bette Midler , Chaka Khan, Prof Brian Cox, Gary Dourdon (Warwick in CSI) and Billie Holiday. 0 [Nice selection, not very stagey though]

Judy Garland, Gladys Knight, Eric Morecambe, Seven of Nine (Jerry Ryan in Star Trek Voyager, but I would prefer her in character), Chita Rivera, John Waters. 1 [Judy Garland and Chita Rivera in the same room? Oh My!]

Who is the most famous person in your phone contacts?

Brian May. 1

Brian May. 1

Have you ever had your photo taken by Darren Bell?

Yes (see Q3). 1

Yes. 1

What is the stagiest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Liza Minnelli asking me if I was singing live on We Will Rock You. When I replied "Yes" she said "Fuck me… Eight shows a week?" 1 [Haha! Brilliant.]

I was directing a Charity Gala when the charity asked me for a photo. I was busy so I said 'Oh just look online'. The night of the event came and amongst all the glamorous celebrity and patron pics was mine as Gumbicat! I was horrified, but my wife may add that everyone she showed it too over many, many months, found it bloody hilarious. 1

What is your earliest theatrical memory?

Performing at Bow Civic Centre aged six. 1

On stage with Mum and Dad singing in their act at the age of four ( although according to mum it all started at three). 1

What do you like to do after a show?

Bra off, Wray and Nephew (white rum) and coconut water. 0

Bra off, Gin and Tonic, watching something like Criminal Minds. 0

And the winner is…


It's a valiant attempt from Sharon and she joins the Stagey League Table in joint 10th place alongside Gina Beck, Cassie Compton and Lucie Jones. A couple more trips to Wicked would see her higher up the table.


Susie wins this battle with an impressive 9 out of 10. Anyone with cast recordings on vinyl is stagey enough to go into the history books in our opinion!

Stagey League Table

1. Simon Bailey

12 points

2. Simon Lipkin

10 points

=3. Sabrina Aloueche

9 points

=3. Susie McKenna

9 points

=3. Eva Noblezada

9 points

=3. Jon Robyns

9 points

=3. Lauren Samuels

9 points

8. Amelia Lily

8.5 points

=8. Scott Garnham

8.5 points

=10. Gina Beck

8 points

=10. Cassie Compton

8 points

=10. Sharon D. Clarke

8 points

=10. Lucie Jones

8 points

=14. Carrie Hope Fletcher

7 points

=14. Marc Elliott

7 points

=14. Aaron Sidwell

7 points